§ 29. Mr. Peter Bruinvels
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will review the current regulations concerning the licensing and registration of residential care homes; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Currie
I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey, South-West (Mrs. Bottomley) on 19 November 1986 at column217.
§ Mr. Willie W. Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the control of standards of care provided in board and lodging houses, private nursing homes and residential care houses.
§ Mrs. Currie
Nursing homes must be registered by district health authorities under part II of the Registered Homes Act 1984 and residential care homes by local social services authorities under part I of the Act. The services and facilities to be provided in these homes are specified respectively in the Nursing Homes and Mental Nursing Homes Regulations 1984 and the Residential Care Homes Regulations 1984, as amended. The Department has issued general guidance to both types of registration authorities and has commended to health authorities a handbook produced by the National Association of Health Authorities and to local authorities the code of practice for residential care, "Home Life".
Health authorities are obliged to inspect nursing homes at least twice a year and local authorities to inspect residential care homes at least once a year. Authorities are encouraged to inspect more frequently, if necessary. Inspections may be at any time of the day or night, and without notice.
For information about a study of the effects of the new registration arrangements for residential care homes I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey, South-West (Mrs. Bottomley) on 19 November 1986, at column 217. Local authorities have powers under the Housing Acts to monitor houses in 170W multiple occupation and this control is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment.