The minister said: 'This consultation marks a crucial step in ensuring the highest standards of care for people in Wales.
'They have been developed in close consultation with representatives of providers, interest groups and regulators. I now hope that everyone with an interest in this area will take the opportunity to participate in the consultation process so as to ensure that Wales has high quality standards which have the support of all areas of the care sector'.
This is the second of a number of consultation exercises in which the Assembly will be seeking views on regulations and national minimum standards for a variety of social care and independent healthcare settings.
These regulations and standards will underpin the work of the new Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales when it commences its regulatory functions on 1st April 2002.
This consultation exercise provides an opportunity for all those with an interest in this issue to consider and comment on the draft regulations and national minimum standards.
The consultation papers are available electronically on the inspectorate's website.
Hard copies are available from:
Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales
National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay CF99 1NA
E-mail responses should be sent to: CSIWstaff@wales.gsi.gov.uk
Hard copy responses to Mrs Price at the above address.
The Care Standards Act 2000, which gained royal assent on 20th July 2000, provides the primary legislative base to enable the national assembly to reform the current regulatory system and act as regulator for a comprehensive range of social care and independent healthcare settings in Wales.
The Act gives the assembly powers to make regulations governing the conduct of services regulated under the Act and to issue national minimum standards applicable for these services, to which the regulatory authorities and providers must have regard. Following the consultation process and consideration of responses, the final regulations and national minimum standards will be submitted for the assembly's consideration.
The regulatory functions will be undertaken by the Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales, a new division within the national assembly. The inspectorate will be responsible for regulating the following services: children's homes, care homes, domiciliary care agencies, fostering and adoption agencies, nursing agencies, private and voluntary healthcare services, boarding schools, residential family centres and childminding and daycare services for children under 8.
The consultation exercise on regulations and national minimum standards for children's homes issued for a 3 month consultation on 20th June 2001. There will be a number of other consultation exercises over the course of the summer