The Care Act 2014, is the main law that currently governs adult social care. The first part of this Act came into force in April 2015 and covers all aspects of social care, carer’s assessments, eligibility, care planning and issues such as financial assessments, safeguarding and entitlement to advocacy support. The second part of the act was due to come into effect in April 2016 and was going to introduce a “care cap” limiting the amount of care fees a person could expect to pay, after which they would be entitled to assistance from the state. Whilst these proposals were by no means perfect, they at least offered a degree of certainty to people who pay for care services. It was a big disappointment then when they were quietly and, for those paying for care, devastatingly, shelved. The current plan is that the cap may be introduced in 2020, but don’t bet your (ever reducing) savings on it.
Why we think the Care Act is a great law – A snapshot
- As laws go, it’s fairly easy to understand
- It brings all the rules under one source
- What’s not to like about a law that puts a person’s well-being and dignity as the priority?
- It has detailed Regulations that provide more information about how to apply the law AND even more detailed “statutory guidance” https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/care-act-statutory-guidance/care-and-support-statutory-guidance about how to apply the law AND the Regulations!
When is it used?
This Care Act applies to any adult that may have needs for care and support – for example those of us that need care at home, or in a care home.
It also applies to carers.
Who uses it?
Social workers and adult social service teams (often now called adult social care).
It is the framework for assessing and supporting adults with care needs, and their carers.
It includes information about:
- when and how to assess someone
- when and how they should be financially assessed
- when and how to address safeguarding concerns
- the right to an advocate
If you require any further information or advice regarding issues relating to care, please contact our Health and Community Care Team on 01926 491181 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for free initial advice.
By Louise Courtney, Solicitor