Care Bill: Second reading House of Commons

Briefing One - Briefing is in support of clause 48 which ensures clarity in the application of the Human Rights Act 1998 to all regulated social care services

This briefing relates to Clause 48 of the Bill, which was inserted into the Bill by the House of Lords at Report stage. The text of Clause 48 closely follows the amendment tabled by Lord Low of Dalston, which was carried by 247 votes to 218 with cross-party support.

Clause 48 will provide people who receive regulated home care with direct legal redress against their home care provider for any human rights abuses that are the provider's responsibility. However, the clause would do more than provide a legal entitlement that could be enforced in the courts. In the Commission's analysis, clarifying the HRA in this way would also encourage providers to build a human rights approach into service delivery, helping to drive up standards in the social care sector.

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Briefing Two - Briefing in opposition to Clause 89 which specify the activities and organisations which will be subject to regular performance reviews by the Care Quality Commission

This is a briefing analysing proposed Clause 89 and promoting the merits for Clause 83 of the version of the Care Bill that went before the House of Lords Report Stage.

The effect of amending clause 83 was to remove proposed new requirements that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) conduct regular performance assessments (periodic reviews) of local authority adult social care commissioning and amended existing provisions relating to special reviews and investigations by the CQC. This would have provided a framework for independent oversight of local authority performance.

The Commission’s analysis is that the Care Bill presents an important opportunity to ensure that local government commissioning of care and support is regulated consistently with the requirements of the Equality Act and Human Rights Act. As noted in the briefing, evidence submitted to our formal inquiry into older people and human rights in home care suggested that the commissioning of adult social care was not always achieving required standards.

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Briefing Three - Briefing in support of amendment to introduce a power of access in specified circumstances

The Commission’s analysis

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s analysis of the Care Bill suggests that the human rights of persons at risk of abuse would be better protected by amending the bill to provide a power of entry for local authority representatives, where a third party is refusing access to a person who is thought to be at risk of abuse and neglect. A power of entry with appropriate safeguards, combined with the proposed duty of local authorities to make enquiries, would enable more effective interventions in response to allegations or suspicions of abuse and neglect.

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Last updated: 06 Jul 2016