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Regulation, legislation and coronavirus

Regulations and legislation affecting care providers are being temporarily changed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It is very important that providers understand these changes and the implications for their services.

Regulation§

Care Quality Commission advice and updates on their response to coronavirus.

Routine inspections suspended - CQC

CQC confirmed on 16 March 2020 that they would be suspending routine inspections in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Measures include:

  • stopping routine inspections from 16 March
  • a shift towards other, remote methods to give assurance of safety and quality of care
  • some inspection activity in a small number of cases, for example where there are allegations of abuse
  • giving extra support to registered managers in adult social care

 

CQC also confirmed on 17 March that:

“There are no changes to the requirements to make notifications or the system used to make them. You should notify us of deaths and of events that stop you carrying on your service ‘safely and properly’ (regulation 18). This will mean letting us know if your service operation is being negatively affected by COVID-19. It does not mean that you need to notify us of every single COVID-19 related issue.”


Legislation§

Coronavirus Act 2020: status table – 7 May 2020 – GOV.UK

This table sets out the status of provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020. It shows which provisions in Part 1 of the Act have since came into force. It also shows, as per Part 2 of the Act, which provisions that were in force have since been suspended and reviewed.When a local authority decides to use the easements, CQC will speak to them to understand the reasons for the decision. They will ask them what impact they expect the decision to have on adult social care services in the area. CQC will use this information to help prioritise monitoring of providers.


Care Act 2014 Easements and local authorities – 30 April 2020 – CQC

When a local authority decides to use the easements, CQC will speak to them to understand the reasons for the decision. They will ask them what impact they expect the decision to have on adult social care services in the area. CQC will use this information to help prioritise monitoring of providers.

CQC has also published the list of local authorities using the easements.


Care Act 2014 Easements – 31 March 2020 – GOV.UK

The guidance sets out how local authorities can use the new Care Act provisions, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, to prioritise care and support for those who need it most. The provisions are temporary and should only be used when it is not possible for local authorities to comply with their duties under the Care Act 2014. This guidance must be read alongside the ethical framework for adult social care.


Supporting disabled people – 31 March 2020 – GOV.UK

A joint statement from the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, the Minister for Care, and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families. The statement outlines how the government plans to support disabled people, their carers, and their families during the coronavirus outbreak, including the implications of the Coronavirus Act and Care Act easements.


Coronavirus Act – 25 March 2020 – Legislation.gov.uk

Read the full details of the Act.


Coronavirus Bill: summary of impacts – updated 23 March 2020 – GOV.UK

A summary of impacts relating to clauses within the Bill.


Implications of the Coronavirus Act, and Care Act easements –  April 2020 – Shared Lives Plus (PDF)

An analysis of the implications of temporary legislative changes for care providers, especially Shared Lives carers and the people they support.


Coronavirus Act 2020: Social care and SEND guidance note – 1 April 2020 – 39 Essex Chambers

Guidance from the 39 Essex Chambers public law team to queries about the Coronavirus Act and implications for social care and SEND services. It is not a comprehensive review – legal advice will need to be sought in respect of specific situations that arise.


Emergency Coronavirus Bill letter from Jonathan Marron – 18 March – DHSC (PDF)

Letter outlining significant changes to Local Authority duties under the Care Act 2014, aimed at enabling LAs and providers to prioritise resources on the most pressing and acute care needs for the most critical period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

See all related information on coronavirus.