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Health & Social Care wants to regulate ‘high risk’ home care

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PROPOSALS to introduce a new regulatory regime for the health and care services are likely to prioritise currently untouched areas such as care in the home and acute hospital services.

President of Health & Social Care Heidi Soulsby. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 17206575)

Health & Social Care wants an independent commission to oversee a new legal regime, which it estimates will cost £368,000 a year to run.

‘Regulation seeks to ensure public safety and confidence by establishing high standards of practice in the provision of health and care services and premises,’ a HSC spokesperson said.

‘The committee [HSC] will introduce designated accreditation schemes or regulatory standards on a priority basis – beginning with areas of highest risk.’

Based on risk analysis, the committee considered that acute hospital services and the unregistered workforce – healthcare assistants and carers who look after people within their own home – are the first areas for which new regulation should be developed.

Other areas of concern are health care premises, including hospitals and dental surgeries, psychotherapists, counsellors and alternative therapists and those providing clinical cosmetic procedures.

In each case a key consideration for the committee is the level of risk posed to vulnerable people if these services are not regulated.

The proposals were published in a policy letter by HSC yesterday ahead of being debated by the States early this year.

HSC is seeking to introduce an ‘appropriate and proportionate system’ which will regulate all providers of health and care services under a new umbrella Enabling Law.

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Health & Social Care president Heidi Soulsby said: ‘This is a key part of the transformation of Health and Social Care and our journey towards a new model of care for the Bailiwick under the Partnership of Purpose. The emphasis has been on providing a proportionate regulatory framework which seeks to ensure public safety and confidence in providers of health and care services.’

The independent commission will have powers of inspection and enforcement where appropriate.

It is intended that the commission will be developed with Jersey, which introduced its law in 2014.

A small core of staff with access to expertise when required is proposed, rather than have a large inspection function.

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Subject to the approval of the committee’s proposals, Deputy Soulsby added: ‘The next steps will be to draft the necessary primary legislation and progress the implementation of new regulatory standards and accreditation schemes.

‘Further work will also be carried out in relation to the costs of regulation. Each of these work streams will be carried out in close consultation with stakeholders.’

n Dates for a series of drop-in sessions will be published shortly for anyone who is interested in the subject of regulation of health and care services.

Islanders with questions about the proposals can email regulation@gov.gg.

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