Legislation (approved by the UK parliament in 2001) that sets up a new, independent regulatory body for social care and private and voluntary health-care services. The new body is called the National Care Standards Commission and covers England and Wales, but in the latter the National Assembly is the regulatory body. Independent councils register social-care workers, set social-care work standards and regulate the education and training of social workers in England and Wales. The Act also gives the Secretary of State for Health the authority to keep a list of individuals considered unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults. In addition, the legislation reforms the regulation of childminders and day-care provision for young children, responsibility for overseeing these services having been transferred from local authorities to the Chief Inspector of Schools. Services covered by the Act range from residential care homes and nursing homes, children’s homes, domiciliary-care agencies, fostering agencies and voluntary adoption agencies through to private and voluntary health-care services. This includes private hospitals and clinics and private primary-care premises. For the ﬁrst time, local authorities will have to meet the same standards as independent-sector providers.
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