Section 3 Care homes
33.Section 3 defines a care home as any home which provides accommodation together with nursing or personal care for any person who is or has been ill (including mental disorder), is disabled or infirm, or who has a past or present dependence on drugs or alcohol. The definition is intended to include residential care homes and nursing homes, as defined in the 1984 Act. The Commission will be able to impose conditions on care homes as to the categories of person they can accommodate. Residential care homes run by NHS bodies will be required to be registered under this definition of care homes as the provision of residential (as against nursing) homes is not a core NHS function as such. Local authority provision under Part III of the National Assistance Act 1948 will be required to be registered.
34.“Personal care” in the context of care homes includes assistance with bodily functions where such assistance is required. This may include, for instance, assistance with bathing, dressing and eating for people who are unable to do these things without help – see section 121(9). This means that an establishment is not defined as a care home unless that type of assistance is provided where required.
35.Subsection (3) excludes NHS hospitals and private hospitals and clinics, including establishments which receive patients liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (see paragraph 28 above), and gives the appropriate Minister power to make other exceptions in regulations. (Homes which take patients on section 17 leave under the 1983 Act but do not take detained patients will need to be registered as a care home not as a hospital).
36.Homes which provide personal care and accommodation for disabled children are to be treated as children’s homes and not care homes.