July CPD Newsbrief — Protection
Care Act aims for sustainability and quality
The 2014 Care Act, which was given Royal Assent in May, brings a number of far-reaching changes to the provision of social care. The key points are:
- A personalised budget for individuals, with access to a tailored care plan to suit their needs.
- Some individuals will have the benefit of being covered under the Human Rights Act.
- Independent financial advice on care funding options is to be made available to everyone.
- Decisions made by local authorities on eligibility and funding for care can now be appealed.
- From 2016, a lifetime cap will apply to care costs. This is the maximum that people will have to pay towards the costs of their care, irrespective of how much they have in savings and assets.
- Local authorities will now be obliged to offer assessments to all carers.
- People will no longer need to sell their homes to pay for care, following the introduction of a deferred payment scheme.
- More robust powers to be given to regulators, with the ability to prosecute providers who are seen to be failing.
- A minimum eligibility threshold to apply to all local authorities throughout the country, replacing the existing system where local authorities set their own criteria, and often led to regional variations. Local authorities will not be able to raise this threshold, which should give comfort to many.
- Local authorities will need to consider individuals’ mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, and include preventative services to maintain their health, when deciding on the level of support required.
Part 1 of the Care Act is now subject to consultation on how local authorities should support and implement the new reforms, with a further consultation covering Part 2 scheduled to begin in autumn this year.
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