The Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2013 came into operation on 1 July 2014 with the purpose of establishing an improved system of care.
Its implementation required widespread changes in the provision of care to older persons, meaning that if you are a care provider for the elderly or if you are contemplating investing, there are a number of compliance requirements which need to be taken into account.
We previously set out the key trends in the change of profile of designated centres for older people here.
The 2013 Regulations cover a range of areas to include staffing, nutrition, governance, risk management and safety, to mention but a few, however the most financially burdensome of the 2013 Regulations are those which relate to the physical premises. Regulation 17(1) imposes the general requirement that premises are "appropriate to the number and needs of the residents of that centre and in accordance with the statement of purpose". Regulation 17(2) states that a registered provider of a designated centre for older people must provide premises which conform to the matters set out in Schedule 6.
The 2013 Regulations were amended by the 2016 Regulations, particularly Schedule 6. The 2016 Regulations came into effect in June 2016 and have inserted further requirements into Schedule 6. Some of these requirements came into effect in June 2016 and others have to be met by January 2022.
What is currently required of a care provider under Schedule 6?
Current requirements under Schedule 6 include that:
The premises must have a lay-out which meets the needs of residents; be of sound construction; and, be clean and suitably decorated; There should be provided on the premises emergency call facilities, grabrails in bathroom areas, handrails on stairs and lifts where residents are on more than one level; There should be provided on the premises adequate sitting and recreational space other than a resident's private accommodation; The area of floor space for a resident of a bedroom in a designated centre must not be reduced from the area of floor space provided for the resident on the day the 2016 Regulations came into operation; and The number of residents of a bedroom in a designated centre must not be increased from the number of residents in the bedroom on the day that the 2016 Regulations came into operation. What will be required under Schedule 6 as of 1 January 2022?