Alarmingly, five out of the seven local authorities which chose to enact these easements were based in the Midlands. Enacting the Care Act easements removed obligations on local authorities to conduct the following:-
- Detailed assessment of an individual’s care and support needs;
- Financial assessment(s). Note, local authorities are able to charge individual retrospectively for the care and support they have received during this period;
- Review individual’s care and support plans; and
- Meet a person’s eligible needs for care and support or support needs of a carer unless failure to do so would breach an individual’s human right.
This is not to say, that all seven local authorities’ chose to enact the above. In making decisions to discharge part or all of their duties under the Care Act 2014 local authorities had to have regard to the guidance set out by the Department of Health and Social Care and the Ethical Framework for adult social care practice.
Although seven councils chose to enact the easements granted by the Coronavirus Act 2020, only Derbyshire County Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council implemented these changes to discharge their duties under the Care Act 2020. Currently, there are no councils suspending duties under the Care Act 2014 and they have now returned to full compliance with adult social care legislation.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 is anticipated to remain in force for two years however, MP’s can vote to remove provisions of the Act at six monthly intervals. With the lockdown restrictions easing and an expected increase in demand for adult social care expected, we wait to see if more councils will adopt them.
If you are worried about the impact the Coronavirus Act 2020 may have for you or a loved one, please contact Charlotte Bell, a Solicitor in our Health and Community Care Team on 01926 354704 or email: CharlotteB@moore-tibbits.co.uk.