The Care Act 2014
Find information about the Care Act 2014 and how it will be put into practice in Gloucestershire.
This page is intended to help you understand the Act and how we are responding in Gloucestershire, and to provide further information and contact details which you might find helpful. The page will be updated as we develop our response.
About the Care Act
From April 2015, care and support in England is changing for the better. The Care Act will help to make care and support more consistent across the country.
The Care Act 2014 is the biggest change to adult social care in over 60 years and comes into action in April 2015. There are currently many different laws regarding adult social care making it difficult to know what care and support is available. The Care Act brings them together to make just one new law relating to the care and support of adults and their carers.
The Care Act is built around people's wellbeing and preventing or delaying needs, putting people at the heart of it. Skills for Care have produced a video giving a short introduction to the Care Act and the Department of Health have also made a short video explaining what the changes will mean for you. For more information, please see the Department of Health Factsheets.
Part 2 of the Care Act, which included a cap on care costs, was due to come into force in April 2016. In response to the concerns about timescales and costs by many stakeholders, the Department of Health has now delayed this part of the Act until April 2020. Although it has been confirmed that Part 2 has been deferred until 2020, not all of the detail and implications have been released by the Department of Health. This website will be updated as we learn more about the delay. Gloucestershire County Council will continue to work with partner organisations to embed the significant reforms of Part 1, which were implemented in April 2015.
An easy-read version of the Care Act is available, and Think Local Act Personal have also developed a Care and Support Jargon Buster, which is a plain English guide to the most commonly used social care words and phrases.
What is care and support?
'Care and support' is the term used to describe the help some adults need to live as well as possible with any illness or disability they may have. It can include help with things like getting out of bed, washing, dressing, getting to work, cooking meals, eating, seeing friends, caring for families and being part of the community.
It might also include emotional support at a time of difficulty and stress, helping people who are caring for an adult family member or friend or even giving others a lift to a social event.
Care and support includes the help given by family and friends, as well as any provided by the council or other organisations.
What do you mean by "wellbeing"?
Wellbeing is a broad concept, described in the Act in relation to the following areas:
- Personal dignity
- Physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
- Protection from abuse and neglect
- Control by the individual over their day-to-day life (including their care and support)
- Participation in work, education, training or recreation
- Social and economic wellbeing
- Domestic, family and personal relationships
- Suitability of living accommodation, and
- The individual's contribution to society
The wellbeing principle underpins the Care Act, and from April 2015 wellbeing must be considered and promoted by the county council when thinking about your care and support needs, with a focus on supporting you to stay healthy and remain independent for longer.
When will the changes take place?
The Care Act became law in May 2014. Most of the changes came into effect in April 2015, which is known as 'Part 1'.
In July 2015, the Government announced their decision to delay Part 2 of the Act, which was due to come into force in April 2016, until April 2020. This includes the introduction of the cap on care costs and the duty on Local Authorities to meet the eligible needs of self-funders in care homes. The proposed appeals system for care and support is also being delayed, with the new implementation date currently unknown.
This delay will allow time to be taken to ensure that everyone is ready to introduce the new system and to look at what more can be done to support people with the costs of care.
In March 2015, the Department of Health consulted on the draft regulations and guidance for Part 2. To read through the draft regulations and guidance, click here.
What does the Care Act mean for me?
Many of us will need care and support at some point in our lives and most people will pay at least something towards the cost of their care. The new national changes are designed to help you plan for the future and put you more in control of the help you receive. Any decisions about your care and support will consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family, so you can stay healthy and remain independent for longer.
You could benefit from the changes if you:
- receive care and support
- support someone as a carer
- are planning for future care and support
We will soon be providing information about what the Care Act means for those who currently receive care and support, but in the meantime, please visit NHS Choices to find out more about how the system is going to work.
What is Gloucestershire County Council's response to the Care Act?
Some of the work we had been doing prior to 1st April 2015 was already meeting the new standards set out in the Care Act. However, we had other changes to make to ensure we were compliant with the requirements of the Act.
- Focused Care Act training for staff
- Developing new guidance, policy and working practices
- Developing IT systems
- Commissioning a free independent financial advice service (The Care Advice Line)
With the Government's announcement that Part 2 of the Act has been delayed until April 2016, Gloucestershire County Council will continue to work with partner organisations to embed the significant reforms of Part 1.
Information relating to The Care Act 2014 in Gloucestershire, including what has changed, how to contact The Care Advice Line, and how to access training materials.
The Care Advice Line (TCAL)
The Care Advice Line is a free information and advice service for adults and carers in Gloucestershire with care and support needs. The aim of the service is to ensure that individuals and their families make informed decisions about their care and how they pay for it.
The Care Advice Line provides personalised information and advice plus guidance on legal and financial considerations and where appropriate can help you access professional advice.
For a free chat call 01452 22 22 00 or visit the Care Advice Line.
Further information and useful links
To find out more about the Care Act 2014, visit the Government Care and Support page.
The Department of Health have published guidance on what is changing.
Healthwatch have also produced a Care Act page to help you understand how the future of care and support is changing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have any comments or require more information about The Care Act, please contact us.