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Update on project to phase out categories

We proposed phasing out ‘categories’ as part of our work to modernise regulation. This is currently on hold.

The purpose of our project was to create a registration system that was based on the needs of people using services, simplify and speed up registration and reduce red-tape for people running services.

Concerns about the use of categories have been raised by professional staff, commissioners and relatives.

What we did

  • We commissioned Bangor University to undertake an independent study in respect of the impact this may have for people with dementia
  • We ran a survey between November 2012 and February 2013 to assess the impact of removing categories
  • We engaged with a number of number of representative organisations

The proposed Regulation and Inspection Bill is expected to be published in 2015. This could result in a new approach to registration so we have decided to postpone this work and take it forward in the future.

Changes we have made

We have made some changes as a result of the project. This includes more flexibility in relation to age ranges and a diagnosis of dementia.


A diagnosis of dementia does not automatically require a person to receive a care service from a service with dementia as a category of registration.

However if, during assessment it is evident that a person has significant needs as a result of having dementia and they require a specialised placement then a care service with dementia as a category of registration should be sought.

People making assessments and looking for placements need to make sure that a service is based on a person’s needs. Providers of services should also undertake their own assessments and only agree to provide a service if they are confident that they can meet a person’s needs.

Age ranges

We receive a number of applications for variations for people who are just under 65 and require a care service or are just over 65 who wish to remain in a service.

As long as the service is appropriate and in line with the needs and choice of the person requiring a service then registered persons do not have to apply for a variation in respect of individual service users because of their age. This only applies to registered adult services.

They may however need to apply for a one-off variation to change the overall age range of people that can be accommodated if the existing registration is prescriptive.

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