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New Bill will give regulation a key role in improving care in Wales

The new Regulation and Inspection Bill will provide an opportunity to use regulatory powers in a positive way to improve the standard of care in Wales.

That’s the view of social care workforce regulator, the Care Council for Wales, which the Bill proposes will evolve into Social Care Wales by 2017.

Arwel Ellis Owen, Chair of the Care Council, said: “When the Minister for Health and Social Services addressed our Board at the end of last year, he spoke about regulating for success. We fully support that view and believe this Bill will help us move further in that direction and build on what we have already done. To underpin a transformation of services, it is important to use regulatory powers, not to punish, but in a positive way that helps us and the workforce learn and improve practice for the benefit of those receiving care. We have already moved in this direction by adopting a fitness to practise approach in cases where things go wrong, to make sure registered practitioners have the skills, knowledge and character to practise their profession safely and effectively.

“For this approach to work at its best, it’s important that regulation and development of the workforce go hand-in-hand. This is something the Care Council has done from the beginning and the strength of this approach is that we can use what we learn from our regulatory activity to develop the training, qualifications and learning materials that are needed to improve specific areas of practice.

“We know there is likely to be a significant increase in demand for care in the future, particularly among older people. The new Bill will provide an opportunity to establish a regulatory model that can help give us the social care workforce we will need in the future and enable us to provide the public with confidence in the standard of care they can expect. It will also complement and strengthen the transformation that is aimed for by the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act.

“Importantly, the Bill will make it clear where accountability lies and who is responsible for the quality and appropriateness of care, as well as clarifying the role of the regulators. We have been increasingly working closer with our fellow regulator, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), to develop new leaner and citizen-centred regulation for the social work and social care workforce, and the services provided. This work will play a key part in helping deliver the priorities set out in the Bill.

“We are looking forward to the challenge of evolving into a new organisation and working with partners to build on the solid foundation already put in place by the Care Council. This will be an excellent opportunity to marshal resources in times of transformation and target them at the priorities identified for workforce development and research. We are also looking forward to working with the Government and others to ensure the Bill is the best it can be by the time it becomes legislation. It’s in the interests of us all to make sure we have the right kind of regulation that will provide the protection and quality we will want from care services into the future,” he added.

Welsh Government statement

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