A Fit Person to Run a Home: Registered Homes Tribunal Interpretations of the 'Fit Person' Concept in the United Kingdom
A formal system of residential care regulation in the UK was introduced with the passing of the Registered Hornes Act of 1984, in response to the significant expansion in private sector care at that time. The Act also established the Registered Hornes Tribunal. Regulation operates through the registration and inspection functions invested in the registration authority. For registered hornes (residential care) this is the local authority 'arms length' inspection unit, whereas for nursing hornes it is the health authority. Some hornes are dual registered and can thus offer both registered and nursing accommodation. Higher ages and dependency levels of those entering residential accommodation support a move towards a single category care horne which would ensure more consistent standards, reduce duplication of effort, and avoid the need for residents to move at a time when their ca re needs are increasing (Hoyes & Johnson, 1997). This is just one of the issues currently under discussion in a consultation exercise that aims to review the regulation of social services in England and Wales (DH, 1992, 1995; Burgner, 1996). The framework for regulation of registered and nursing hornes is largely similar. Throughout this artide the focus will be on the legislation applicable to registered hornes unless otherwise stated.