The bulk of the Care Act 2014 came into force on the 1st April 2015 and applies in England. The equivalent Welsh legislation is not due to come into force until 2016. The Act is described by the government as “the most significant reform of care and support in more than 60 years”.
Who comes under the new care Act?
The primary purpose of Part 1 of the Act is to reform the law relating to care and support for adults.
However the Act also contains provisions relating to disabled children and carers who are in the transition process into adulthood. These provisions are made to work in tandem with provisions in the Children and Families Act 2014, which also came into force in April 2015.
What happens to the existing legislation?
The Care Act 2014 repeals most of the principal adult social care legislation. This includes repealing or dis-applying in whole or in part the NHS and Community Care Act 1990, the National Assistance Act 1948, Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 and Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995.
What are the main changes introduced by the new Act?
- Introduces a general principle of well-being – local authorities must act to promote well-being through all their work under Part 1 of the Act. There is a shift from a duty to provide particular services to “meeting needs”.
- Focus on preventing, delaying or reducing development of need.
- Introduces a national minimum eligibility criteria.
- Assessments (individual and carers) should be “appropriate, proportionate, person-centred and ensure focus is on duty to promote well-being.
- Provisions for more support and access to services for carers (see our separate information page)
- Moving to another area – portability of services – local authorities to work together to avoid a gap in services.
- Deferred Payment Agreements (DPA) – local authorities must offer a DPA to those who qualify, where a person is entering or is in permanent residential care (to help people to avoid having to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for their care, if they don’t want to).
- Safeguarding – statutory safeguarding duties apply for adults at risk and social services have a duty to investigate concerns.
Is the £72,000 funding care cap now in place?
No, these provisions are not due to come into effect until April 2016. It is intended that the maximum a person will have to pay for their care will be capped at £72,000 for people aged 25 and over and that the cap will be zero for people who have care needs when they turn 18.
The Community Care Team at Ridley & Hall understands the issues faced by disabled and vulnerable adults, disabled children and children “in need” and their carers. We can advise on your rights and work to secure the support and services required.
If you, or a family member, or friend require advice in relation to anything mentioned above or any other community care issues please call Tracey Ling or another member of our Community Care Team on 01484 538421.