The Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Social Care – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – challenged the Deputy Health and Social Services Minister during the debate on amended social care regulations this week. Two impacts of the Regulated Services (Service Providers and Responsible Individuals) (Wales) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 are:
- Relaxation of some of the rules around the need for a person who works for a service provider to provide full and satisfactory information in respect of things like written references, evidence of qualifications, employment history and language skills
- The provision of nursing care, and care and support for adults commissioned by local authorities or health boards without the need for registration as is laid out in Sections 5 and 6 of the 2016 Act (the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016)
Commenting after the Regulations were voted through the Senedd, Janet said:
“These regulations raise serious concern about safeguarding risks in social care.
“Welsh labour, Plaid Cymru, and the Brexit Party have just voted to allow the relaxation of employment checks for individuals hoping to work in places such as care homes and domiciliary support services.
“The provision of full and satisfactory information in respect of things like written references, evidence of qualifications, and employment history is in the best interest of service providers and the individuals they work with.
“It is not only me worried about the relaxation of rules. In fact, a respondent to the consultation on the amended regulations urged that pre-employment checks were essential to safeguarding individuals.
“Frontline workers are doing an incredible job, however there have been some incidents in the past which mean that we need always be careful to ensure the safeguarding of individuals.
“This is even more important now that Care Inspectorate Wales have decided not to undertake routine inspections during the pandemic”.