The Care Act – A Whistle Stop Tour

The Care Act is a long document to read so here I have introduced key areas, so make yourself a coffee or whatever is your favorite beverage and have a read!

The Implementation of the Care Act brings the greatest change for a long time.  This is a whistle stop tour of the key elements of the act. Why not make yourself a cuppa whilst your reading this!

The Care Act creates a single, consistent route to establishing an entitlement to public care and support for all adults with needs for care and support. It also creates the first ever entitlement to support for carers, on a similar basis.

Your local authority will have to provide comprehensive information and advice about care and support services in their local area. They will need to consider how the approach they take affects people’s well being. There will need to be more engagement with local providers.

1. General Responsibilities.  It will help to improve people’s independence and wellbeing. It makes clear that local authorities (LA’s) must provide or arrange services that help prevent people developing needs for care and support or delay people deteriorating such that they would need ongoing care and support.

2. Who is entitled to care and support. The Care Act aims to create a single, consistent route to establishing an entitlement to public care and support for adults. The LA will use an eligibility framework to determine this.  The Act is aiming to get consistency across all LA’s, so no matter where you are, you should get the same level of support.

3. Assessments and eligibility. The Act gives local authorities a duty to carry out a needs assessment in order to determine whether an adult has needs for care and support. The assessment:

Must be provided to all people who appear to need care and support, regardless of their finances or whether the local authority thinks their needs will be eligible;

Must be of the adult’s needs and how they impact on their wellbeing, and the outcomes they want to achieve;

Must be carried out with involvement from the adult and, where appropriate, their carer or someone else they nominate, including an independent advocate provided by the local authority; As part of the process, the local authority must consider other things besides services that can contribute to the desired outcomes, and whether any universal preventative services or other services available locally could help them stay well for longer.
4. Care and support planning.  The care and support planning process is there to help decide the best way to meet the person’s needs. It considers a number of different things, such as what needs the person has, what they want to achieve, what they can do by themselves or with the support they already have and what types of care and support might be available to help them in the local area.

5.Transitions. This covers the requirement for those moving from children’s services to adult services. The Act says that if a child, young carer or an adult caring for a child (a “child’s carer”) is likely to have needs when they, or the child they care for, turns 18, the local authority must assess them if it considers there is “significant benefit” to the individual in doing so. This is regardless of whether the child or individual currently receives any services.

6.Charging.  The act stipulates that all local authorities should have transparent charging policies. Deferred payment eligibility criteria also has to be explained. 

7Funding Reform. Cap on care costs system and the extension to means-tested financial support for care costs will work from April 2016. These reforms will end the unfairness and fear caused by unlimited care costs and provide more people with financial support from the State towards the costs of their care and support.
8. Safeguarding.  This has been neither systematic nor co-ordinated in the past. The Act sets out a clear legal framework for how vulnerable adults should be safeguarded. Each area will have its own safeguarding board.

9Carers.  The Act gives local authorities a responsibility to assess a carer’s needs for support, where   the carer appears to have such needs. This replaces the existing law, which says that the carer must be providing “a substantial amount of care on a regular basis” in order to qualify for an assessment.

10. Continuity of Care.  Continuity of Care means that the local authority will be responsible for ensuring that there is continuity of care when a person moves from one area to another. Obviously the person has a responsibility of informing the local authority that they are moving. The Act lays down steps which need to be taken by the two local authorities.

11Market Oversight and failure.  ​The Act introduces a regime whereby the financial stability of the most” hard to replace” care provider is scrutinised. The CQC will take on the responsibility of assessing the financial sustainability of these care providers from April 2015

I have included a link to an easy read version too!
For further help or information on the Care Act, please get in touch.

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