Legislation Information (England)
In this document you will find an overview of some of the Government Policy and legislation which has an impact on workers in health and social care settings. You will be able to identify the legislation that most affects the work you do, and will have a broad understanding of the International, European and UK Government policy that has an impact upon the way we must work. Plans for genuine partnership working between health and social services lie at the heart of the government's strategy to modernise the management and delivery of social care. The emphasis is upon empowerment, person centred planning, public protection and a well trained and regulated workforce to deliver quality services. You will see the trends in the following pages as legislation, policy and guidelines all reflect the same aim. There will often be differences between the four countries of the UK as devolution has enabled each country to focus upon their own priorities. How devolution affects health and social care workers Devolution is the process by which power has been transferred from Westminster to three countries of the UK. The framework for devolution is laid down in the Scotland Act 1998, the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the Northern Ireland Act 1998. There are different levels of devolved responsibilities for each country. Scotland has a Parliament and an Executive based upon the Westminster model. Under the Scotland Act 1998, the Parliament can pass Acts and the Executive can make secondary legislation in many areas. Under the Government of Wales Act 1998, powers in certain areas have been delegated to the National Assembly for Wales. The Assembly can make secondary legislation in these ‘devolved areas’, but primary legislation for Wales is still made by the UK Parliament. Devolution in Northern Ireland is linked closely to the success of the peace process; issues with this have led to the Assembly and Executive being suspended several times. When in operation the Northern Ireland Assembly can make primary and secondary legislation in ‘delegated areas’. This means that although in health and social care the four countries do work closely together, there will often be different priorities, policy and guidance, depending on where people live and work, as each country will define its own way forward based on research which identifies the needs of individuals in their country. This can be confusing for people who live on the borders of Scotland or Wales, where there are often conflicting requirements in terms of qualification requirements for staff or differences in National Service Standards. It is important to make sure that any legislative requirements, White Papers, policies or guidance you use to underpin your work are the right ones. The White Paper Modernising Social Services set the scene for developments that have changed the face of social care in England over the past few years. You will see common themes, which underpin the ethos of legislation, growing in strength and being reflected in the way service provision is delivered. As you read through the next few pages and identify the parts that are most relevant to the area in which you work you will find everything emphasises empowerment of individuals receiving services, public protection, flexible needs led services,
Health & Social Care NVQs
partnership and a service that centres upon the needs of each individual. All of this depends upon the UK having a well trained and regulated workforce.
Modernising Social Services The White Paper ‘Modernising social services promoting independence, improving protection, raising standards’ was published on1st January 1998. It outlined the government's plans for modernising social service provision, emphasising the importance of promoting independence, public protection and ensuring the delivery of quality...