New measures have been announced to protect people who rely on care services in the event their care home or service provider goes into administration.
The legislation would give the Care Quality Commission (CQC) powers to oversee the financial stability of the largest and most difficult to replace care providers.
The role of local authorities is also being clarified so that if a care provider fails, local authorities will have ultimate responsibility for ensuring continuity of care for all people receiving care regardless of who is funding the services.
The government hopes that with the CQC overseeing the finances, and increased clarity of the local authority role, people who depend on care providers will have an added level of assurance that their care needs will continue to be met.
“Everyone who receives care and support wants to know they will be protected if the company in charge of their care goes bust,” said Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb.
“The fear and upset that the Southern Cross collapse caused to care home residents and families was unacceptable.
“This early warning system will bring reassurance to people in care and will allow action to be taken to ensure care continues if a provider fails.”
The new powers are subject to Parliamentary approval. They were consulted on earlier in the year and the department has today published the formal consultation response.
CQC chief executive David Behan said: “These are important measures that provide early warning of potential failures in care homes.
“Set alongside our plans for the appointment of a Chief Inspector of Social Care and Support, tougher registration requirements on social care providers and the introduction of a new ratings system, these new measures will strengthen our oversight to help ensure that risks to peoples’ care are identified and acted upon as early as possible.”