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Health Act 2009

Section 34A: Interpretation: “adult social care provider” and “adult social care”

323.Section 34A defines the terms “adult social care” and “adult social care provider” for the purposes of delineating the matters subject to investigation under the new scheme (set out in section 34B). The meaning of “adult social care” is defined by reference to Part 1 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the 2008 Act). Section 9 of that Act states that social care “includes all forms of personal care and other practical assistance provided for individuals who by reason of age, illness, disability, pregnancy, childbirth, dependence on alcohol or drugs, or any other similar circumstance, are in need of such care or other assistance”. Such care falls within the scope of the new scheme if it is provided to persons aged 18 or over.

324.“Adult social care provider” is defined in subsection (3). Only persons providing adult social care which is a regulated activity within the meaning of Part 1 of the 2008 Act will be “adult social care providers” for the purposes of the new scheme. Section 8 of the 2008 Act allows for regulated activities to be prescribed in regulations made under that Act. Only activities that are prescribed will be regulated by the Care Quality Commission. If a service is not regulated by the Care Quality Commission it will not fall within the Local Commissioners’ remit. It is the Government’s intention to prescribe, for example, that provision of care home accomodation and the care provided to residents in a home will be regulated by the Care Quality Commission. Therefore a provider of these types of activity would come within the Local Commissioners’ remit.

325.Subsections (4) and (5) provide that action taken on behalf of a provider will be treated as action by the service provider whether this is action taken by an employee, by a person with whom the provider has contracted to provide the service, or (subsection (5)) where the care is provided by means of a less formal arrangement with another person. The intention of these two subsections is to ensure that complaints about social care provided under any arrangements where the provider has delegated the service remain within the Local Commissioners’ remit.

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