The Health and Social Care Act 2012: impact on adult social services

April 10th, 2012

After its torrid passage through Parliament, the Health and Social Care Bill received Royal Assent on 27 March 2012. The Act deals principally with healthcare reform, but it also contains some amendments to the legislative framework for social care. It will come into force on a day yet to be appointed by the Secretary of State.

Part 7 of the Act (sections 209 to 231) makes various changes to the regulation of social care workers.

First, it abolishes the General Social Care Council (the current regulator of social workers) and transfers some of its functions to the Health Professions Council, which is renamed as the Health and Care Professions Council. Various amendments are made to the Health Professions Order 2001, which is renamed the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. It is the 2001 Order which sets out the legislative framework for the Health and Care Professions Council.

Second, Part 7 makes changes to the funding and functions of the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, which is renamed the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. The Authority will be responsible for accrediting voluntary registers of occupational groups, including social care workers.

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