§ Lord Lipsey
asked Her Majesty's Government:
- (a) How many responses they received to their consultation document on residential care home standards Fit for the Future?;
- (b) Whether they will publish a summary of those responses;
- (c) What plans they have to refine their estimates of the cost to care homes providers of the proposed new standards the light of the consultation;
- (d) Whether their proposals will form the basis of a study by the Better Regulation Task Force;
- (e) What form their final proposals will take; and
- (f) When their final proposals will be published. [HL521]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath)
We have received 733 responses to date. The consultation period forFit for the Future? ends on 21 January. We have no plans at present to publish a summary of the comments received.
We will carefully consider all comments before we finalise the standards and there may be scope for differentiating between individual standards when deciding on implementation. The standards will be implemented by the National Care Standards Commission, which will assume its regulatory role in 2002. We intend to publish the final standards later this year so that providers will know what standards they will have to meet and users will know what standards they can expect as a minimum, well in advance of the implementation of the Care Standards Bill provisions for the new regulatory framework. A revised Regulatory Impact Assessment will be published with the finalised standards.
It is for the Better Regulation Task Force to decide what areas of statutory regulation it wants to study. However, our regulatory reforms, which include national standards, have been designed to meet the principles of good regulation—transparency, accountability, targeting, consistency and proportionality—as set out by the Regulation Task Force.