National Assembly for Wales / Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru
Health and Social Care Committee / Y Pwyllgor Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol


Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill / Bil Rheoleiddio ac Arolygu Gofal Cymdeithasol (Cymru)

Evidence from GMB – RISC 17 / Tystiolaeth gan – RISC 17


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GMB – Britain’s General Union Response to:


Welsh Governments

Consultation Document on


Regulation & Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill


Action Required: Responses by 20th April 2015

Date of Submission: 20th April 2015




Garley House

17 Newport Road


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GMB response to Welsh Government:

Regulation & Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill.


GMB Trade Unions Response to the Consultation

on the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill




1. Do you think the Bill as drafted will deliver the stated aims (to secure

Well being for citizens and to improve the quality of care and support in

Wales) and objectives set out in Section 3 (paragraph 3.15) of the

Explanatory Memorandum?

Is there a need for legislation to achieve these aims?


The GMB welcomes the broad aim and direction of the legislation with its focus on the provision of quality regulated services, and a system of workforce regulation

that supports the workforce to practise effectively and safely.

The GMB has campaigned continually to highlight that the responsibility is on the social care providers to provide high quality services whilst also advocating the principle that regulation has a significant role in promoting and supporting high quality provision, as well as addressing areas of poor practice.


2. What are the potential barriers to implementing the provisions of the Bill

(if any) and does the Bill adequately take account of them?


The main barriers to implementing the provisions of the bill are the wider pressures

on the sector in terms of the increasing volumes required at a time of

significant resource and financial pressures, The Bill seeks to address these

issues through provision for improved planning and market analysis, a focus

on high quality professional practice, and enhanced coordination of

improvement activity to address agreed national priorities.


3. Do you think there are any issues relating to equality in protection for

different groups of service users with the current provisions in the Bill?


The GMB believes that the legislation would support equality for all groups

that are dependant on services within the Social care sector.


4. Do you think there are any major omissions from the Bill or are there

any elements you believe should be strengthened?


This question will be addressed in our responses given below.


5. Do you think that any unintended consequences will arise from the Bill?


In relation to service regulation we do not believe that there should be any

unintended consequences, although careful monitoring of the impact of

implementing the legislation will be required to ensure that there are no

negative consequences arising for a sector that is somewhat unstable at present.



For workforce regulation, we feel that the detail of the Bill may potentially

restrict ability in the future to respond to new patterns of service and

workforce groups for whom other regulatory approaches may be more



Provisions in the Bill


6. What are your views on the provisions in Part 1 of the Bill for the

regulation of social care services? For example moving to a service

based model of regulation, engaging with the public, and powers to

introduce inspection quality ratings and to charge fees.


It is important that the public are able to understand the complexities of the

Social care sector in a clear and transparent way, allowing the public to have confidence in the sector.


Central to this development will be improved public information on the care

sector. Such approaches undertaken in collaboration with the sector should

result in increased public protection, public accountability, and improved public

understanding of the care sector, and these improvements should help to inform and enable individuals who use services, when having to make decisions about their care.


This should result in higher expectations of social care provision through wider ownership of matters of quality and safety of provision.


7. What are your views on the provisions in Part 1 of the Bill for the

regulation of local authority social services? For example, the

consideration of outcomes for service users in reviews of social

services performance, increased public involvement, and a new duty to

report on local markets for social care services.


I will expand upon this question at the committee.


8. What are your views on the provisions in Part 1 of the Bill for the

development of market oversight of the social care sector? For example,

assessment of the financial and corporate sustainability of service

providers and provision of a national market stability report.


The GMB welcomes the market oversight at national and local level as is the

assessment of the financial stability and sustainability of providers which will

hopefully allow greater stability for the workforce. However achieving

meaningful information at both the individual provider and national level will

only be attained by close working with providers with recognition that

transparency is critical in being a part of the social care sector.




10. What are your views on the provisions in Part 3 of the Bill to rename and

reconstitute the Care Council for Wales as Social Care Wales and extend

its remit?



The GMB is disappointed with the decision to re-brand The Care Council for Wales. The Care Council has developed its brand since its inception and is now the most

recognisable establishment within the care sector. We are concerned that the

significance of The Care Council may be lost with the change.


11. What are your views on the provisions in Parts 4 8 of the Bill for

workforce regulation? For example, the proposals not to extend

registration to new categories of staff, the removal of voluntary

registration, and the introduction of prohibition orders.


The GMB is concerned that the Bill has chosen not to take the opportunity to regulate Domiciliary care workers and Care home workers; The GMB believes that this will simply cause confusion to the workforce and to the public. The GMB have

campaigned for recognition within the sector to professionalize the workforce, and

we believe that registration of these workers allows for this.


The GMB is aware that The Care Council has considered a model of some

form of licensing for the workforce. This has been used successfully in a

number of sectors over many years, with 2 of the GMB organised industries

using effective licensing schemes. E.g. Gas Safe and the Security Industry

Authority are both examples of effective schemes would which provide public

assurance and raise standards.


We believe that it could be used as a model for social care workforce groups such as domiciliary care workers and care home workers.

The key feature of the model is its focus on supporting care workers to

practice safely and effectively through provision of accredited training and

guidance, while at the same time addressing areas of poor or dangerous

practice by removing those workers from the workforce.


As stated above we consider that the proposal to not implement a standard

register for workers who are currently required to register and those that are not currently not required to register with Social Care Wales, would lead  to confusion between the two registers for the sector and the public.


The GMB agrees that a reliance on voluntary registration is not appropriate,

due to the confusion that it can cause to the Workforce and public. As

indicated above, we believe that alternative models of licensing regulation are

available to replace voluntary approaches.


12. What are your views on the provisions in Part 9 of the Bill for

cooperation and joint working by regulatory bodies?


The GMB believe that this is a natural progression and welcome closer

cohesive working between the CSSIW and The Care Council

Delegated powers


13. In your view does the Bill contain a reasonable balance between what is

included on the face of the Bill and what is left to subordinate legislation

and guidance?


I will expand on this point at the committee.


Financial implications


14. What are your views on the financial implications of the Bill as set out in

parts 6 and 7 of the Explanatory Memorandum?


I will expand on this point at the Committee.


Other comments


14. Are there any other comments you wish to make about specific sections

of the Bill?


The GMB welcomes the majority of the legislation and considers that it

provides an important opportunity to support the development of the social

care sector and the social care workforce in facing the significant changes

that will be required in the forthcoming decade.



Kelly Andrews


Lead Organiser for Social Care Workers in Wales

Garley House

17 Newport Road


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