Clause 114

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:15 pm on 22nd January 2008.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health 6:15 pm, 22nd January 2008

The clause will only enable regulation of activities carried on by people who are not social care workers within section 55 of the Care Standards  Act 2000 if the activities are carried on in connection with the activities of social care workers. Provision in subsection (4)(b) and (c) measures the equivalent provision that we have already discussed under schedule 3 in relation to the Health Act 1999, which sets out what regulation in relation to a health care professional may include.

In answer to the hon. Member’s question, it may include other groups who will need the flexibility to register in future. We have already announced that the first new group to be registered will be staff working in domiciliary care. The Government have also accepted GSCC advice on further groups, which include residential care workers. Those two groups cover staff in Commission for Social Care Inspection registered children’s care homes, residential family centres, care homes for older people, care homes for adults, domiciliary care agencies that provide personal care in people’s homes, fostering agencies, voluntary adoption agencies and so on. They are not the sort of individual contractual arrangements we discussed earlier and which the hon. Lady has just raised again.

That is why we are seeking the flexibility that the clause would give us. The difficulty we have with the hon. Member for Eddisbury’s amendment—notwithstanding his concerns, which I share, that we would not want the flexibility to be limitless—is that it would create uncertainty for the groups I have just referred to and may mean that those people or activities would not be brought within the regulatory framework or their regulation modified without primary legislation. I do not think that would be a sensible restriction so I hope he will feel able to withdraw his amendment.