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Legislation in health and social care

PLEASE NOTE: This article is not currently complete. We aim to add more detail about each piece of legislation.

This article aims to provide a list of important legislation in health and social care for individuals that are studying for care qualifications such as the Care Certificate and Level 2-5 Diplomas.

Each piece of legislation has a brief description and has some of the main points highlighted. It is not intended as an in-depth study and should instead be used for reference purposes in addition to further research.

What is UK Legislation?

Legislation refers to the system of rules that apply to all citizens of the UK and which non-compliance can be enforced by penalties. It can be split into primary and secondary legislation.

Primary legislation

Primary legislation refers to the laws passed by legislative bodies in the form of Acts of Parliament.

Secondary legislation

Secondary legislation refers to laws made by a body delegated by primary legislation. For example, the Health and Safety Executive has the power to create regulations (e.g. COSHH, RIDDOR etc.) relating to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Common law

Common law or case law is legislation that has been developed by judges and the court system. For example, an historical judgment in a court of law may set a precedent for future judgements.

Legislation Relating to Health and Social Care

Some legislation is specific to the health and social care sector (e.g. the Care Act 2014) and other legislation is specific to the workplace (e.g. the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974). Other legislation is specific to all situations (e.g. the Equality Act 2010).

This section aims to cover all legislation that pertains to health and social care including related legislation from the other categories so that there is a full list of the legislation that all health and social care workers should be aware of.

It is important to note that you only need to understand the main points of legislation and not read the acts in their entirety!

Relating to health and social care

  • Care Act 2014
  • Health and Social Care Act 2008
  • Mental Health Act 1983
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005

Relating to equality

  • Equality Act 2010
  • Human Rights Act 1998

Relating to Health and Safety (further info here)

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
  • The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 2002 (PUWER)
  • The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
  • Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
  • Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • Food Safety Act 1990
  • Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013

Relating to handling information

  • Data Protection Act 2018 & GDPR
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • Common law duty of confidentiality
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