HC Deb 24 February 1999 vol 326 cc349-50W
Mr. Sayeed

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to establish a national register of carers for the elderly; [72150]

  1. (2) what guidance his Department has issued on recommended procedures for ensuring a high standard of care when employing a carer for an elderly relative; [72151]
  2. (3) what vetting procedures and guidelines his Department recommends are required with regard to the employment of carers for the elderly. [72152]
Mr. Hutton

In 1993 the Social Services Inspectorate published "Developing Quality Standards for Home Support Services" which was sent to all social services authorities and made available to the independent sector.

The Social Services White Paper, "Modernising Social Services", included a commitment to introducing a regulatory framework for domiciliary care for the first time. This framework will include legally enforceable standards for registered domiciliary care providers arid included in this will be procedures for the vetting and recruitment of care staff.

The White Paper also included proposals to establish the General Social Care Council. The purpose of the Council is to increase the protection of all service users, their carers and the general public. It will have a registration function based on the successful completion of approved training. The first task of the new Council will be to draw up enforceable codes of conduct and practice for all social care staff.

The General Social Care Council will draw up a code of practice for employers that will set out the need for employers to have sound recruitment practices to prevent unsuitable people from entering the workforce. This code will be enforced through the registration and inspection of services.