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  • 27 March 2020
  • News

Legislative changes for social care provisions in response to COVID-19

Today we have emailed care providers to let them know about legislative changes Welsh Government have agreed to assist the care sector.

We recognise local authorities, health boards and providers are working tirelessly to respond to the current COVID-19 emergency and the significant pressures being faced in these unprecedented times.  The number of people requiring support in hospitals and in the community is expected to increase and there will be a significant impact on the availability of staff due to people having to self isolate or becoming ill themselves. In these exceptional times, the sector will need to be agile in responding by providing capacity at short notice and recruiting additional staff to ensure services can continue to be delivered.

Following discussions with the Welsh Government, the Welsh Ministers have agreed – subject to the agreement of the Assembly - to take forward legislative changes that can assist the sector to respond to these challenges.  This includes the following:

  • delaying implementation of the Annual Return requirement by one year, to May 2021,
  • enabling urgent, temporary social care provision in response to COVID-19 to be established without requiring registration, subject to certain conditions,  
  • amending the requirements for pre-employment checks for newly recruited staff to focus on providers undertaking and recording appropriate checks and risk assessments
  • relaxing DBS requirements for regulated services for adults to enable providers to accept either a clear Adult First check pending a full enhanced DBS check, or an existing DBS which is less than three years old.

Further information about this and other frequently asked questions for care providers and staff across Wales can be found on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.