The Care Act 2014
The Care Act brought the biggest changes seen in Adult Social Care for over 60 years.
To a greater or lesser degree The Care Act will affect all people who need social care as well as their carers, local authorities, service care providers and the wider population.
Previous areas of legislation have been brought into a single place and there are additional duties for Local Authorities.
The main focus of the Act is to promote wellbeing. Emphasis is on supporting people to maintain their independence. The Act also concentrates on providing individuals with more choice about the care they wish to receive.
Other significant areas of The Care Act include:
- People who pay for their own care will be offered support in assessing, planning and managing their care.
- The government has created a new national eligibility threshold. This means the point at which local people become eligible for social care support is equal across the whole of the UK.
- New rights for carers, giving them the same eligibility for services as the adults they care for.
- The requirement of Local Authorities to provide information and advice to individuals, helping them make informed decisions about the best way they can receive care.
The ‘Think Local Act Personal’ website provides information which helps to explain some of the language used in relation to the Care Act
The Department of Health have provided documents which give further detail about the changes the Act brings:
The Care Act - what it means for you
From April 2015 the duties of The Care Act 2014 will mean that social care is changing for the better. In some situations, Local authorities are required to provide care and support in a different way.
The main focus of the Act is to promote wellbeing. Emphasis is on supporting people to maintain their independence. The Act also concentrates on providing people with more choice about the care they wish to receive.
Other areas of the Act which may change how people receive their care are shown below.
The Care Act will mean that carers now have a legal right to receive care and support where they have eligible needs. Where appropriate, Carers will be supported, so they can continue to provide care for others but also ensure their own wellbeing is being looked after.
More information about carers.
Information and advice SHOW
The Care Act requires all councils to provide information and advice on how people can lead healthier and more active lives. It also explains what further care and support will be available, should the need arise. Southampton City Council have created the directory which provides resources and information, advice and support to enable people to find appropriate information and solutions for themselves.
Needs and eligibility SHOW
From April 2015, the way care and support needs are assessed in England is changing. This means that any decisions made about the help you receive will consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family.
Why not try our care self assessment tool which can help you understand if you are eligible to receive help. It can also put you in touch with the right organisations to help and support you.
More information about needs and eligibility.
Personal Budgets and Direct Payments SHOW
The Care Act states that from April 2015 councils will need to allocate a personal budget to all people who are eligible for support. The personal budget is the amount of money needed to cover the cost of a person’s eligible support.
Anyone who is eligible will also be offered a direct payment. Many people in Southampton already receive direct payments. This means individuals have total control of how they receive the best care and support for them.
Care planning and reviews SHOW
A person’s care plan will be reviewed on a regular basis and if or when their needs change. This way the care plan remains personal and appropriate to the needs and wishes of the person.
The Care Act aims to provide people with maximum control over how their needs are met. Effective care planning makes sure a person is always at the centre of their care plan and fully involved at all stages. Personalised care planning enables a wide range of support options to be explored, so they best meet the needs of the individual.
Financial reforms SHOW
In April 2016 a number of financial reforms were due to be introduced. These included changes to capital thresholds, the cap on care costs and appeals. On 17 July 2015, the Government announced that it was postponing the introduction of these reforms from April 2016 until April 2020.
No significant changes will be made around how front line staff and others support adults at risk of abuse and neglect. This is something Southampton City Council already does. However the way we work with our partners, for example the NHS and Police will be enhanced.
Transition (Preparing for adulthood) SHOW
Transition relates to a young person who receives care and support from Children’s Services, who is about to become 18 years old. On turning 18, their care is transferred to Adults Services. The Care Act means that Local Authorities have to improve working between teams to ensure this transfer is a smooth one.
Please visit our preparing for adulthood webpages for more information.
The Care Act extends the current right to advocacy support. Advocacy helps to make sure an individual is fully supported in making the right decisions for their care and support. This means more people, especially those involved with safeguarding enquiries and safeguarding adult reviews, can be supported by an advocate.
The Independent Advocacy service enables people to speak up and have their views and wishes heard. It helps people access their rights as members of the community. The services are free and anyone can ask for an advocate.
More information about advocacy.