The Department has published a summary of the views received as part of the consultation process on the draft Care and Support Bill.
Public consultation on the draft bill was from 11 July to 19 October 2012. Over 1,000 comments were received, with around 430 unique respondents submitting written comments via email, post and the dedicated draft Care and Support Bill website.
The draft bill represents an historic reform of care and support legislation. It proposes a single, modern law for adult care and support that replaces existing outdated and complex legislation.
It aims to transform the social care system to focus on prevention and the needs and goals of people requiring care. It also includes a number of health measures, including the law needed to establish Health Education England (HEE) and the Health Research Authority (HRA) as non-departmental public bodies.
Some of the findings from the summary of consultation responses include:
Part 1: Care and Support
- respondents were on the whole very supportive of the consolidation, clarification and modernisation of existing law and the increased emphasis on outcomes
- there was an eagerness to see the regulations and guidance that will provide further detail on the provisions in the draft bill, and suggestions were made about what they should cover.
- strengthened rights for carers to access support were particularly welcomed.
- respondents were supportive of the principle of a national threshold for eligible needs but wanted to see more detail about where the threshold would be set and how it would work.
- there was a strong desire to expand the duty to provide information and advice to include more detailed requirements to help the person understand and make use of information, and to support the role of advocacy.
- some felt that the provisions should go further in ensuring that the balance of decision-making lies with individuals rather than the local authority, so that people are supported to feel in control of their care and support in line with the wider personalisation agenda, and people’s ability to challenge decisions made about them is clarified.
- some wanted to see a stronger focus on prevention of needs and the role of communities in providing universal services.
- concerns were raised about the pressures on local authority budgets and the consequential impact on care and support. People also expressed disappointment about the absence of clauses in the draft Bill to implement the recommendations of the Dilnot Commission.
Part 2: HEE and HRA
- respondents broadly welcomed the proposals to establish HEE and HRA as non-departmental public bodies and local education and training board (LETB) governing bodies as committees of HEE.
- they were keen to understand more about how HEE will ensure that the system is accountable, integrated, professionally informed, and that quality improvement underpins all education and training activity.
- they welcomed clarification of the HRA’s role in promoting standardised practice in the regulation of health and social care research and in ensuring such regulation is proportionate, but wanted to see greater clarification of its role in facilitating research governance to address the complexity, duplication and delays in obtaining approval to undertake research in the NHS.
The summary document published today does not set out the government’s view or response to the comments made.
The Department is considering all of the comments received. The comments will be used to assist and challenge the government in considering how to improve the proposals in the draft bill.
The next stage of the draft bill is pre-legislative scrutiny by a joint committee made up of members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The government will respond formally to the public consultation alongside its response to the recommendations of the joint committee.
For more information about the joint committee and the scrutiny process, please visit the Parliament website.