New law reforming Wales’ social care inspection and regulation regime to be implemented by April 2019

January 2016

A new law reforming the way Wales’ social care and support services are regulated and inspected will be implemented by April 2019, the Welsh Government has announced.

The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016, which has today been granted Royal Assent by Her Majesty the Queen, reframes accountability so owners of services can be held to account for failings in care.

It also gives Welsh Ministers the power to remove not just bad services but also bad providers, so where services don’t come up to scratch, people will be able to see action being taken by regulators.

The new Act reflects recommendations arising from the Flynn Review, including the introduction of a fit and proper person test for both service providers and responsible individuals.

The social care system in Wales will now be judged by what is does for people and the new Act will ensure that everyone will know how good services are and where improvements are needed.

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones said:

“The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 is the second substantial piece of social care legislation this government has introduced since the National Assembly gained new law-making powers in 2011.

“Through our legislative programme, we are using our powers for a purpose – to deliver better social care for the people of Wales.”

Following Royal Assent, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed the new system of workforce regulation will be implemented and operational by April 2017. The Care Council for Wales will be renamed Social Care Wales with a broadened remit by April 2017.

The new system of service regulation and inspection established by the Act will be implemented and operational by April 2019. To achieve this all service regulation will come into force in April 2018 to allow sufficient time for the new system to be established.

Work will now start on the significant suite of subordinate legislation which flows from the Act and ensure both the service and the workforce regulator have robust transition plans in place to deliver these changes.

Mark Drakeford said:

“The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act, together with the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act completes our ambitious programme of reforms to our social services, delivering on the commitment we made to the people of Wales to build a sustainable social care system.

“This new Act will put in place a reformed regulation and inspection system that ensures our services deliver high-quality services to those who rely on them.”