The Joint Committee on the draft Care and Support Bill, chaired by Paul Burstow MP, is conducting pre-legislative scrutiny into the draft Bill and the policies it seeks to implement. The Joint Committee comprises 6 Members of the House of Commons and 6 Members of the House of Lords. It will take oral and written evidence and make recommendations in a report to both Houses. The Joint Committee invites interested organisations and individuals to send written submissions by 11 January 2013 as part of the inquiry.
The Joint Committee would appreciate any general views on the Government's policies on care and support, and on whether the draft Bill is adequate to achieve them, but would in particular welcome any evidence you may wish to contribute on the specific issues listed below. It is not necessary for your submission to address every question. The Joint Committee will also welcome other comments related to the draft Bill, even if not directly addressing the questions below.
Care and Support
1. What is your view of Part 1 of the draft Bill (care and support)? In your view, are there omissions in this Part of the draft Bill?
2. Has the Government made it clear what it aims to achieve in the draft Bill’s provisions on care and support? In particular, will it be effective in clarifying the law on social care?
3. The Government states in its White Paper that “the quality of care is first and foremost the responsibility of the provider”. Does the draft Bill support this policy intention, and does it pay due attention to the responsibilities of commissioners and regulators for quality of care?
4. Are there other ways of framing the draft Bill’s underlying principle, that local authorities must promote an individual’s well-being? Are there other principles that might be substituted for it?
5. Does the draft Bill make sufficient provision to achieve the Government’s stated goal of greater integration within the NHS and with care and support and housing?
6. What benefits or problems may arise as a result of the draft Bill’s scope being restricted to adult care and support?
7. If it is found necessary to stage the implementation of the care and support provisions of the draft Bill, in what order should they be implemented?
8. Are the provisions of the draft Bill in relation to the views of service users, carers and prospective users of services sufficient? Would you suggest any improvements to these provisions?
Responsibilities of local authorities
9. What is your view of the financial and other implications for local authorities of the new care and support responsibilities set out in the draft Bill?
10. What are the risks and benefits of the duty on local authorities to provide advice on adult care and support? Are they the same for the duty to provide information?
11. How can local authorities ensure that the local care market provides enough care services to meet local needs? How can they encourage a diverse range of high-quality providers?
12. Are the draft Bill’s provisions adequate to ensure that service users are protected in the event of serious market failure among providers?
13. The White Paper talks about “approaches that promote support within communities” and calls for the adoption of “asset-based” approaches. Is the draft Bill successful in embedding this approach, or should other preventative approaches be adopted?
Assessment and Eligibility for Social Care
14. What are the risks and benefits associated with self-assessment for care and support as proposed in the draft Bill?
15. What are the best ways to increase the numbers of people identified as carers? What are the risks and benefits of placing a duty on public bodies to identify carers?
16. Do you consider that variable local charging regimes for services are compatible with national eligibility criteria, and any future funding changes involving capping individual financial liability?
17. The White Paper says that assistance with care and support needs will be subject to a reasonable charge. Do the charging provisions in the draft Bill reflect this policy intention, and is the policy intention clear?
18. Are the arrangements for setting and enforcing national minimum standards for care and support clear? What part should the new social care quality standards developed by NICE play in supporting local authorities in discharging their new market shaping duties?
Care Planning and personal budgets
19. Do the care and support plan provisions allow adequately for input from service users and carers?
20. Does the draft Bill make adequate provision to help people achieve personalised care and support and to manage the payment process?
21. The White Paper says that commissioning practices which put tight constraints on how care and support is provided - so-called ‘care by the minute’ - are unacceptable. Does the draft Bill have a part to play in addressing such practices, and if so how?
22. To what extent do the safeguarding provisions ensure that all those at risk are adequately protected, and should these provisions be extended in any way?
23. Does the draft Bill strengthen corporate accountability for neglect and abuse? What would be the risks and benefits of creating a new offence of corporate neglect?
Transition from children’s care and support services
24. Will the draft Bill’s provisions smooth transition from child to adult services, and should they be extended in any way?
Discharge of hospital patients with care and support needs
25. Does the draft Bill promote greater integration between health, social care and housing around hospital discharge?
26. What is your view of Part II of the draft Bill (health)? In your view, are there any omissions in this part of the Bill?
Health Education England
27. Are the powers envisaged in the draft Bill for Health Education England sufficient, especially in relation to long-term workforce planning? Does the draft Bill set out HEE’s powers clearly, along with its relationships with other bodies, especially the Local Education and Training Boards?
28. Are the proposed arrangements for the governance and accountability of HEE and the LETBs robust enough?
29. Is the Government’s goal of greater integration within the NHS and with care and support facilitated by the HEE provisions?
Health Research Authority
30. Will the powers envisaged for the Health Research Authority be effective, and is there a risk of conflict between transparency in the publication of research results and patient confidentiality?
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and Human Tissue Authority
31. What are the risks and benefits of the provisions in the draft Bill on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human Tissue Authority?
You need not address all these questions.
Written submissions should be provided to the Committee as a Microsoft Word document and sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not submit PDFs. If you do not have access to Microsoft Word you may submit in another editable electronic form. If you do not have access to a computer you may submit a paper copy to the Michelle Edney, Scrutiny Unit, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. The deadline for receipt of written evidence is 11 January 2013.
Short, concise submissions, of no more than six pages, are preferred. A longer submission should include a one‐page summary. Paragraphs should be numbered. Submissions should be dated, with a note of the author’s name, and of whether the author is acting on an individual or corporate basis. All submissions will be acknowledged promptly.
Personal contact details supplied to the Committee will be removed from submissions before publication but will be retained by the Committee staff for specific purposes relating to the Committee’s work, such as seeking additional information.
Submissions become the property of the Committee which will decide whether to accept them as evidence. Evidence may be published by the Committee at any stage. It will normally appear on the Committee’s website and will be deposited in the Parliamentary Archives. Once you have received acknowledgement that your submission has been accepted as evidence, you may publicise or publish it yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee. If you publish your evidence separately, you should be aware that you will be legally responsible for its content.
You should be careful not to comment on individual cases currently before a court of law, or matters in respect of which court proceedings are imminent. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should discuss with the Clerk of the Committee how this might affect your submission.
Certain individuals and organisations may be invited to appear in person before the Committee to give oral evidence. Oral evidence is usually given in public at Westminster and broadcast in audio and online. Persons invited to give oral evidence will be notified separately of the procedure to be followed and the topics likely to be discussed.
Substantive communications to the Committee about the inquiry should be addressed through the Clerk or the Chairman of the Committee, via the above address, whether or not they are intended to constitute formal evidence to the Committee.
This is a public call for evidence. Please bring it to the attention of other groups and individuals who may not have received a copy directly.