CQC strengthens regulation of services for people with a learning disability and autistic people

Over a number of years, CQC has taken various steps to strengthen regulation of services for people with a learning disability and autistic people. One of the main ways they have done this is through the statutory guidance Right support, Right care, right culture. And more recently with the introduction of the new legal requirement on mandatory learning disability and autism training

The CQC has recently announced a new measure to further strengthen regulation in this area – a new standard condition to be applied on new registrations specifically dealing with providing regulated activities to people with a learning disability or autism.

Prior to the change

Prior to 1 September 2022, when new providers applied to register with the CQC they had to tell the CQC whether they planned to provide specialist services for people with a learning disability and autistic people.

  • If the new provider told the CQC they did plan to, the CQC would assess the application against the Right support, Right care, right culture guidance.
  • If the new provider told the CQC they did not plan to, the CQC would not assess the application against the Right support, Right care, right culture guidance.

The change

Since 1 September 2022, this has changed. When a new provider applies to register with the CQC, they must still tell the CQC whether they plan to provide specialist services for people with a learning disability and autistic people.

If the new provider tells the CQC they do plan to, there is no change – the CQC will still assess the application against the Right support, Right care, right culture guidance.

However, if the new provider tells the CQC they do not plan to, as part of the application to register the new provider must agree to an additional condition on their registration if they are applying for the following regulated activities:

  • Accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care
  • Personal care
  • Assessment or medical treatment for people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983

For providers applying to carry on the regulated activities, Accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care and Personal care the condition that will be applied is as follows:

‘The registered provider must not provide [regulated activity] in a specialist service to people whose presenting need for care or support is as a direct result of the person’s learning disability and or autism at or from [location].’

For providers applying to carry on the regulated activity, Assessment or medical treatment for people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 the condition that will be applied is as follows:

‘The registered provider must not provide [regulated activity] in a specialist service to people whose presenting need for assessment or treatment is as a direct result of the person’s learning disability and or autism at or from [location].’

If a provider with this condition on their registration plans to change their service to provide specialist services for people with a learning disability and autistic people, the provider will have to apply to have the condition removed.  As part of this process, the CQC will assess the application against the Right support, Right care, right culture guidance to determine whether the provider has the ability to provide such a service.

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