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Private and voluntary healthcare: Care Standards Act 2000. Regulations and national minimum standards consultation document.

  • Launch date:
    18 March 2008
  • Closing date:
    10 June 2008
  • Creator/s:
    Department of Health, Standards and Healthcare Commission Relations
  • Copyright holder:
    Crown
  • Product number:
    280611
  • Gateway number:
    8565
  • Outcome published:
    30 March 2009

The Department plans to make major changes to the way that health and adult social care is regulated and performance managed from a currently planned date of April 2009. The consultation document contains the proposed changes to the regulations governing the independent healthcare sector as well as the proposed changes to the associated National Minimum Standards.

Removal from Healthcare Commission regulation of certain private and voluntary healthcare services

The Government's approach to the regulation of businesses calls for a proportionate and risk-based approach to regulation. Having considered the private and voluntary healthcare services currently in regulation to establish whether all regulation continues to be proportionate and risk-based, the Department of Health believes that the following services do not need to continue to be regulated by the Healthcare Commission in order to ensure the provision of safe and effective services:

  • Type 3 hyperbaric oxygen chambers
  • Some vitro fertilisation techniques
  • Some types of laser and intense pulsed light technologies

The removal of these services from regulation by the Healthcare Commission in order to move to a more risk-based regulation system fits well with the Department's proposed role for regulation in the future.

Other amendments to the Private and Voluntary Healthcare Regulations

This chapter contains proposals to make other, relatively minor amendments to the Private and Voluntary Healthcare Regulations to ensure that they continue to reflect the Department's policy on the regulation of these services and providers.

The Private and Voluntary Healthcare (England) Amendment Regulations  2008:  Statutory Instrument Number:  SI 2008 No.2008/2352.

From April 2009, as provided for in the Health and Social Care Act 2008, the Care Quality Commission will operate an integrated, risk-based,  proportionate system of regulation to ensure that providers of health and adult social care services – whether in the private or public sector, meet essential levels of quality and safety in the services which they provide to the public.

In line with this, the Department of Health held a consultation from 18 March 2008 to 10 June 2008 on the Private and Voluntary Healthcare (PVH) Regulations 2001, which consisted of deregulatory proposals to:

  • end the non-surgical use of lasers (but not laser eye surgery), by Class 3B and 4 Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Sources;
  • end Healthcare Commission regulation of Type 3 Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Chambers;
  • end the dual regulation by the Healthcare Commission and the HFEA of certain elements of IVF services:
  • make other minor changes to the PVH Regulations.

The Statutory Instrument (SI) has been laid in Parliament on the 8th of September 2008 to amend the Private and Voluntary Healthcare Regulations as proposed above, with the exception of ending the non-surgical use of lasers by Class 3B and 4 Lasers and IPL Sources.

The effect of the SI will be, in the run up to wider changes to the
regulatory and system management programme, to take steps now to regulate in a more proportionate manner while continuing to deliver assurances of quality and safety for patients.  

Class 3B and 4 Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light Sources

In the light of the complexity presented by the responses to the deregulation of laser and IPL machinery, the Department is giving further consideration to this aspect of the deregulatory proposals.  The on-going careful analysis means that a decision regarding whether to proceed with deregulating laser and IPL machinery has not yet been made.

  • Contact:
    Adiba Enwonwu
  • Address:
    Standards and Healthcare Commission Relations
    Room 423, Wellington House
    133-155 Waterloo Road
    London SE1 8UG
  • Phone:
    020 7976 4010
  • Email:

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