Legislation Changes

We would like to draw your attention to some significant changes over the past year, with particular reference to legislative changes from 1st April 2015.

The Care Quality Commission is taking a Human Rights approach to regulation, to ensure that that all people using any health or social care services in England, have their rights protected.  There are a number of Acts of Parliament which specifically refer to protecting the rights of people with disabilities and those who may lack mental capacity at times.

It is up to you to inform yourselves on these matters, so we invite you to look at some of the details of the legislation which impact on what adult social care providers must do/cannot do and how they need to find balances in decision making and ensuring the rights of service users are upheld.


All providers need to ensure that they are working within the spirit of the following Acts of Parliament to ensure that people with disabilities are able to enjoy the same freedoms and rights as people without disabilities. We would urge that you do look into these and if necessary discuss it with friends, relatives or even a legal advisor if you are unclear about anything;

The Care Act 2014

  • Came into force on 1 April 2015. It is the biggest change in our welfare history in nearly seventy years (revoking the National Assistance Act 1948).
  • The guidance in the Care Act refers to “The importance of achieving a balance between the individual’s wellbeing and that of any friends or relatives who are involved in caring for the individual”.


UN Convention of Rights of People with Disabilities 2006

In Article 1 of the UN Convention of Rights of People with Disabilities 2006 (which the UK has signed up to) it refers to:

  • “The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity”

Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014

Section 2. 11. Need for consent — (1) Care and treatment of service users must only be provided with the consent of the relevant person.

NB: In general terms, the “relevant person” is the service user or where they don’t have mental capacity – the person who is lawfully authorised to consent.


Mental Capacity Act 2005

There are important aspects and practices which must be followed to ensure that the person’s rights are upheld.

We would particularly draw your attention to:

  • the five key principles
  • Best interest decision making
  • Time and decision specific decision making



Care Quality Commission – Human Rights approach


We hope you find this helpful!

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