Concerned about recent changes to the Care Act 2014? You’re not alone. Many people have been in touch with us to find out what these changes mean for them.
Here are some of the key changes explained. You’ll see that the changes came about to ensure a more well-rounded, person-centred service, whether you’re receiving care or providing care.
The changes – among the largest social care reforms in the past 60 years – became law in April 2015, with further reforms planned for 2016. The fundamental changes focus on the care duties of Local Authorities, and closer collaboration with the carer requiring support. The Care Act covers social care in England only, however some provisions of the Act extend to Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
How you might request a care assessment remains largely the same. However, the Act has added some new duties for Local Authorities to offer better support to individuals and carers.
The changes are designed to address the difference in levels of care you might receive, depending on where you live, or the range of services you may need.
What is now required of Local Authorities (LAs):
• It is the LA’s responsibility to ensure an individual’s wellbeing is the primary consideration throughout the process of providing care – this is known as the ‘wellbeing principle’
• LAs must work towards preventative measures – ensuring ongoing support is in place to try and prevent care needs from developing or significantly growing in the future
• LAs will have to ensure the integration of care and support services with health and health-related service provision, for example by liaising with Clinical Commissioning Groups and the NHS. This will result in a more comprehensive programme of support
• LAs must establish and maintain an information and advice service relating to care and support for adults and carers
• LAs must provide individuals a range of care services to choose from
• The needs assessment must be person-centred and holistic, and must take into account the views and wishes of the individual being assessed
• Carers will also have the same rights in law as those they care for and there is a new duty to assess carers on their own level of need.
How the Care Act can help you
Anthony Goodrich got in touch with us soon after the changes came about. After he had waited more than six months for the right level of care, the advocacy team supported him to get what he needed.
Anthony, who has a rare form of limb girdle muscular dystrophy, was living in Bromley with his wife, who had been his carer for 12 years. As Anthony’s condition deteriorated, it became difficult for his wife to continue supporting him.
After refusing to provide the care Anthony needed, the LA insisted Anthony should move into a care home that would have been unable to support his complex needs. However, under the new provisions of the Care Act, the LA was required to put Anthony’s wellbeing at the core of its decisions and to find a care arrangement to suit Anthony’s assessed needs. This resulted in the decision to place Anthony in a Leonard Cheshire care home where he would be fully supported.
If you have any questions about the Care Act 2014 or how to get the care and support you need, please contact our Information Team on 0800 652 6352 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org