CQC issues disability discrimination warning over regulations

The Care Quality Commission has warned that disabled people running health and social care services may be discriminated against under Department of Health regulations.

The CQC today published consultative guidance on what providers registering with the inspectorate will need to do to comply with new regulations for health and social care which are due to come into force next year.

Like current regulations governing social care providers, the new regulations, which the DH has published in draft form, require individuals registered as providing or managing a service to be “physically and mentally fit” to perform these roles.

In an equality impact assessment, published alongside today’s consultation paper, the CQC said this “could place a person with disability at a disadvantage”.

However, it suggested this could be addressed if the guidance explicitly stated that disabled people should not be disadvantaged by the requirements.

The issue mirrors the longstanding debate around Care Standards Act 2000 requirements for registered social care staff in England and Wales to be “physically and mentally fit” to perform their role.

The EHRC and the General Social Care Council has called for the requirement to be dropped to prevent discrimination against disabled people. The former Disability Rights Commission said the requirement led to “discriminatory attitudes, policies and practices against disabled people”.

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