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Care Standards Bill [H.L.]
 
 

 
 
A

B I L L

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

TO

Establish a National Care Standards Commission; to make provision for the registration and regulation of children's homes, independent hospitals, independent clinics, care homes, residential family centres, domiciliary care agencies, fostering agencies and voluntary adoption agencies; to make provision for the regulation and inspection of local authority fostering and adoption services; to establish a General Social Care Council and a Care Council for Wales and make provision for the registration, regulation and training of social care workers; to make provision for the registration, regulation and training of those providing child minding or day care; to make provision for the protection of children and vulnerable adults; to amend the law about children looked after in schools and colleges; to repeal the Nurses Agencies Act 1957; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

  PART I
  INTRODUCTORY
 
Preliminary
Children's homes.     1. - (1) This section has effect for the purposes of this Act.
 
      (2) An establishment is a children's home (subject to the following provisions of this section) if it provides care and accommodation wholly or mainly for children.
 
      (3) An establishment is not a children's home merely because a child is cared for and accommodated there by a parent or relative of his.
 
      (4) An establishment is not a children's home if it is-
 
 
    (a) a health service hospital;
 
    (b) an independent hospital or an independent clinic;
 
    (c) a home provided, equipped and maintained by the appropriate Minister under section 82(5) of the Children Act 1989 (referred to in this Act as "the 1989 Act"); or
 
    (d) a residential family centre,
  or if it is excepted by regulations.
 
      (5) Subject to subsection (6), an establishment is not a children's home if it is a school.
 
      (6) An independent school is a children's home at any time if at that time accommodation is provided for children at the school and either-
 
 
    (a) in each year that fell within the period of two years ending at that time, accommodation was provided for children, either at the school or under arrangements made by the proprietor of the school, for more than 295 days; or
 
    (b) it is intended to provide accommodation for children, either at the school or under arrangements made by the proprietor of the school, for more than 295 days in any year;
  and in this subsection "year" means a period of twelve months.
 
Independent hospitals etc.     2. - (1) Subsections (2) to (6) apply for the purposes of this Act.
 
      (2) A hospital which is not a health service hospital is an independent hospital.
 
      (3) "Hospital" (except in the expression health service hospital) means-
 
 
    (a) an establishment-
 
      (i) the main purpose of which is to provide medical or psychiatric treatment for illness; or
 
      (ii) in which (whether or not other services are also provided) any of the listed services are provided;
 
    (b) any other establishment in which treatment or nursing (or both) are provided for persons liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.
      (4) "Independent clinic" means an establishment of a prescribed kind (not being a hospital) in which services are provided by medical practitioners (whether or not any services are also provided for the purposes of the establishment elsewhere).
 
  But an establishment in which, or for the purposes of which, services are provided by medical practitioners in pursuance of the National Health Service Act 1977 is not an independent clinic.
 
      (5) "Independent medical agency" means an undertaking (not being an independent clinic) which consists of or includes the provision of services by medical practitioners.
 
  But if any of the services are provided for the purposes of an independent clinic, or by medical practitioners in pursuance of the National Health Service Act 1977, it is not an independent medical agency.
 
      (6) References to a person liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 do not include a person absent in pursuance of leave granted under section 17 of that Act.
 
      (7) In this section "listed services" means-
 
 
    (a) medical treatment under anaesthesia or sedation;
 
    (b) dental treatment under general anaesthesia;
 
    (c) obstetric services and, in connection with childbirth, medical services;
 
    (d) termination of pregnancies;
 
    (e) cosmetic surgery;
 
    (f) palliative care;
 
    (g) treatment using prescribed techniques or prescribed technology.
      (8) Regulations may-
 
 
    (a) except any description of establishment from the definitions in subsections (2) to (4);
 
    (b) except any description of undertaking from the definition in subsection (5);
 
    (c) modify the definition in subsection (7).
Care homes.     3. - (1) For the purposes of this Act, an establishment is a care home if it provides accommodation, together with nursing or personal care, for any of the following persons.
 
      (2) They are-
 
 
    (a) persons who are or have been ill;
 
    (b) persons who are disabled or infirm;
 
    (c) persons who are or have been dependent on alcohol or drugs.
      (3) But an establishment is not a care home if it is-
 
 
    (a) a hospital;
 
    (b) an independent clinic; or
 
    (c) a children's home,
  or if it is excepted by regulations.
 
Other basic definitions.     4. - (1) This section has effect for the purposes of this Act.
 
      (2) "Residential family centre" means, subject to subsection (5), any establishment at which-
 
 
    (a) accommodation is provided for children and their parents;
 
    (b) the parents' capacity to respond to the children's needs and to safeguard their welfare is monitored or assessed; and
 
    (c) the parents are given such advice, guidance or counselling as is considered necessary.
  In this subsection "parent", in relation to a child, includes any person who is looking after him.
 
      (3) "Domiciliary care agency" means, subject to subsection (5), an undertaking which consists of or includes arranging the provision of personal care in their own homes for persons who by reason of illness, infirmity or disability are unable to provide it for themselves without assistance.
 
      (4) "Fostering agency" means, subject to subsection (5)-
 
 
    (a) an undertaking which consists of or includes discharging functions of local authorities in connection with the placing of children with foster parents; or
 
    (b) a voluntary organisation which places children with foster parents under section 59(1) of the 1989 Act.
      (5) The definitions in subsections (2) to (4) do not include any establishment, undertaking or organisation excepted from those definitions by regulations.
 
      (6) "Voluntary adoption agency" means an adoption society within the meaning of the Adoption Act 1976 which is a voluntary organisation within the meaning of that Act.
 
      (7) The person who carries on a fostering agency falling within subsection (4)(b) shall be taken to be the voluntary organisation itself; and the person who carries on a voluntary adoption agency shall be taken to be the voluntary organisation in question.
 
      (8) References to a person who carries on an establishment or agency include references to a person who carries it on otherwise than for profit.
 
      (9) Below in this Act-
 
 
    (a) any reference to a description of establishment is a reference to a children's home, an independent hospital, an independent hospital in which treatment or nursing (or both) are provided for persons liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, an independent clinic, a care home or a residential family centre;
 
    (b) a reference to any establishment is a reference to an establishment of any of those descriptions.
      (10) Below in this Act-
 
 
    (a) any reference to a description of agency is a reference to an independent medical agency, a domiciliary care agency, a fostering agency or a voluntary adoption agency;
 
    (b) a reference to any agency is a reference to an agency of any of those descriptions.
 
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