The Care Act 2014
This page is about the Care Act 2014 which came into effect in April 2015.
The Care Act is the biggest change in Adult Social Care in over 60 years. It combines many previous laws into one new law which has a greater emphasis on:
- making sure that people have the information and advice they need to make good choices about care and support
- meeting care and support needs of adults and their carers – rather than an emphasis on providing services
- carer rights – including the rights for young carers who are providing care and support to an adult.
- provisions apply to both people in need of care and support and to carers
The Care Act also introduced:
- national care and support eligibility criteria for both adults and carers
- rights to independent advocacy in some circumstances
- personal budgets and rights to request a direct payment
- new responsibilities about:
- making the transition from children’s services to adult social care..
- provider failure, for example if a care home closes.
- supporting people who move between local authority areas.
- Find out more about safeguarding on the Gloucestershire Adults Safeguarding Board (GSAB) website.
What is care and support?
Care and support can be a mixture of practical, financial and emotional support for adults who need extra help to manage their lives and to be independent, including older people, people with a disability or long-term illness, people with mental health needs and carers.
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 we mean by "wellbeing"?
The wellbeing principle underpins the Care Act, and must be considered and promoted by the county council when thinking about an individuals care and support needs, with a focus on supporting people to stay healthy and remain independent for longer. This applies equally to carers.
Wellbeing is a broad concept, described in the Care Act in relation to the following areas:
The ‘wellbeing principle’ underpins the Care Act. Local authorities have to consider the wellbeing of adults and carers in relation to their care and support needs.
- 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
More changes to care and support
The government has announced that there will be further changes to care and support.
The Care Act cap on care costs, which limited the amount that individuals would have to pay towards the cost of their care, will now not be introduced.
Government proposals for social care reform have been delayed, it will now be published “at the first opportunity in 2019”. The green paper will focus primarily on reform of care for older people but will also consider other things, for example the needs of carers and of working age disabled adults.
The green paper will be subject to a full public consultation.
Detailed information and guidance
More detailed information on the Care Act is available from the Department of Health and can be accessed through the following links:
- The Care Act
- Department of Health Factsheets on the Care Act
- Care and support statutory guidance - GOV.UK
- An easy-read version of the Care Act is also available.
Further information and useful links
- Our Your Circle directory has information about and links to local activities, services and support that can help you stay as independent as possible for as long as possible. It includes information about how the health and social care system works and how to use it when you need it.
- We have commissioned The Care Advice Line to provide a free confidential financial information and advice service for adults and carers in Gloucestershire. You don’t have to have eligible needs to use the service. Paying for care and support can be expensive and can have a significant impact on personal finances. Our aim is that you or your family have the information you need to make informed decisions about care and support and how to pay for it.
The Care Advice Line can advise on:
- Planning for future care needs
- The different types of care available and their associated costs.
- How to arrange care and support, including direct access to recognised experts in care fee negotiation.
- Benefits and entitlements
- Paying for care
- Legal matters such as acting on someone’s behalf and wills
- What the pension reforms mean and the potential impacts on funding future care and support needs.
- Intentional deprivation of assets
They can also help you to access to appropriate legal advice or regulated financial advice.
Contact the Care Advice Line:
Phone: 01452 22 22 00 (Mon - Fri 9am-5pm)
Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) have produced a Care and Support Jargon Buster which is plain English guide to the most commonly health and social care words and phrases
If you have any comments or require more information about The Care Act, please contact us.