The Care Act 2014 came into force in April 2015. It is the biggest piece of social care legislation for 60 years and it will bring about significant changes in social care practice.
The Care Act 2014 will replace all current adult social care legislation apart from the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act.
The information below provides an overview of The Care Act 2014.
Local Authorities will provide services that help to prevent or delay the development of care and support needs, such as health promotion, housing adaptations and telecare services.
There is a requirement for Local Authorities to work with partners wherever possible. These would include partner local authority and health authorities to improve outcomes, promote wellbeing,smooth the transition between services and protect adults at risk.
Assessment will be offered to anyone who appears to need care and support, regardless of their financial position or whether their needs are likely to be eligible.
Carers will have new rights under the Act. They will be offered a carer’s assessment wherever a carer appears to need support, regardless of the amount of care they provide, their financial situation or whether the person they care for has eligible needs.
Information and advice to children, young carers and adults caring for children as they approach 18 if they are likely to need care and support after they turn 18. They must be offered an assessment if that would be of significant benefit to them, regardless of whether they currently receive a service. If a child receives support, that support must continue after their 18th birthday until either their adult social care support is in place or they have been assessed as having no eligible needs as an adult.
The Local Authority will address safeguarding enquiries whenever they suspect an adult in need of care and support is at risk of abuse or neglect, whether or not they are in receipt of care. The emphasis of these enquiries must be on the outcome the person themselves wants to achieve rather than on procedures. Safeguarding adults boards and serious case reviews will be statutory requirements.
There will be active promotion of wellbeing whether or not a person is eligible for support. Wellbeing is defined as personal dignity and respect; physical, mental and emotional health; control over everyday life, including care and support; participation in work, education, training or recreation; social and economic wellbeing; family and personal relationships; suitability of accommodation and an opportunity to contribute to society. See eligibility.
There will be a requirement to provide information and advice to all residents, regardless of whether they have eligible care needs. Local Authorities already have in place contact points to enable individuals to access information.
The Care Act 2014 allows local authorities to delgate some of the present care and support funtions to others, this includes assessment services. Local authorities retain mangement of charging, direct payments and safeguarding.
National eligibility criteria has been introduced, which may mean that some people who were not eligible before become eligible and some existing customers may be eligible for more support.
The Local Authority will need to ensure that assessments, reviews, support planning and safeguarding are proportionate and based around the customer’s aims and wishes rather than processes.
If someone has significant difficulty being fully involved in their assessment, support planning, reviews or safeguarding processes (whether because of difficulty in processing the information or of communicating their wishes) and they have no one appropriate to support them, the Local Authority will have to arrange an independent advocate for them.
The Local Authority will be responsible for offering prisoners in custody the same social care support as other residents. This will predominantly prevention, information and advice.
Carers needs are eligible when they meet three conditions;1. The needs arise from as a consequence of providing necessary care for an adult2. The effect of the needs is that any of the circumstances specified in the Care and Support ( eligibility) Regulations 2014 apply to the carer, namely 3.