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Commission For Social Care Inspection

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a person working at the premises will have the right to refuse to be interviewed under Clause 86(1)(c)(i) of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill. [122962]

The provision at clause 86(1)(c)(i) (first print) gives the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) power to interview in private any person working at premises which CSCI is inspecting. Clause 86(5) provides that it would be an offence to obstruct CSCI in the exercise of its functions, and this provision is intended to make clear (mirroring existing provision in the Care Standards Act) that a manager must not prevent any person who consents to being interviewed by CSCI being interviewed. In certain circumstances, which will be set out in detail in regulations to be made under clause 85 of the Bill, CSCI will be able to require prescribed persons to give explanations of prescribed matters to CSCI. Failure without reasonable excuse to do so in these circumstances would be a criminal offence.