Care commission in Scotland comes into force

The Scottish parliament passed the Regulation of Care (Scotland)
Bill last week.

The bill sets up the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of
Care. It will take over the powers of registration and inspection
of community care that currently rests with units based within
local authorities.

However, one amendment lodged by Labour MSP Richard Simpson and
passed at the committee stage of the bill early last month was
overturned. The amendment would have given the commission the power
to comment on funding levels provided by local authorities should
care fail to meet new nationally set standards of care because of
inadequate resources.

Simpson argued that voluntary and private sector organisations
already received less resources per client than local authority
providers and were therefore either subsidising services or having
to pay low wages.

But in an opposing amendment depute minister for health and
community care Malcolm Chisholm argued: “The commission is a
non-departmental public body. It should not intervene in decisions
made by democratically elected local authorities on funding for
individual providers.” Nor, he added, should it become “tied up”
with case-by case wranglings and “complex financial

Simpson conceded that the commission may not be the best place
to deal with funding issues. But he warned that solutions had to be
found so that “good standards were not achieved through either the
exploitation of workers in the sector or charitable contributions
of the public”.

Chisholm has now promised the Scottish executive would bring
together representatives of the local authority body Cosla and
private and voluntary sector community care providers “to develop a
shared understanding of the problems of the present commissioning

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