Introduction to the Care Act


The Care Act 2014 builds on recent reviews and reforms, replacing numerous previous laws, to provide a coherent approach to adult social care in England. The Act (and its Statutory Guidance) consolidates and modernises the framework of care and support law; it set out new duties for local authorities and partners, and new rights for service users and carers.

What does the Act aim to achieve?


  • Clearer, fairer care and support.
  • Wellbeing – Physical, mental and emotional of both the person needing care and their carer.
  • Prevention and delay of the need for care and support.
  • People in control of their care.
 

A new emphasis on wellbeing


The new statutory principle of individual well-being underpins the Act, and is the driving force behind care and support. Prevention Local authorities (and their partners in health, housing, welfare and employment services) must now take steps to prevent, reduce or delay the need for care and support for all local people.

When will the Care Act become effective?


Most of the changes have taken effect from April 2015. However, the major reforms to the way that social care is funded – including the care cap and care account – did not come into operation until April 2016.

Summary


The Care Act consolidates good practice in statute as well as bringing in new reforms. It should embed and extend personalisation in social care as well as increasing the focus on wellbeing and prevention. It should also enable local authorities and partners to have a wider focus on the whole population in need of care, rather than just those with eligible needs and/or who are state-funded.

 
 
 

Care Act Fact sheets

These factsheets accompany Part 1 of the Care Act and are produced by the Department Of Health. To open one of the factsheets, just click on “View” and the factsheet will open. If you’d like to stay on our site, you can right click on the “View” button and click on “Open link in new Tab”, which will mean the document will be opened in a separate window.

Responsibilities

This factsheet describes how the Care Act and supporting guidance place a series of new duties and responsibilities on local authorities about care and support for adults.

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Finding Reform

This factsheet describes how the Care Act and supporting guidance provide for adults’ entitlements to public care and support.

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Assessments/Eligabiliity

This factsheet describes how the Act and supporting regulations and guidance set out the process of assessing an adult’s needs for care and support, and deciding whether a person is eligible for public care and support.

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Care/Support Planning

This factsheet describes how the Care Act and supporting regulations and guidance give people maximum control over how their needs are met.

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Charging

This factsheet describes how the Act and supporting regulations and guidance will create a clearer, more consistent way of assessing what people can afford to pay for their care and support.

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Finding Reform

This factsheet describes how the cap on care costs system and the extension to means-tested financial support for care costs will work from April 2016.

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Safeguarding

This factsheet is about how the Act, for the first time, sets out a clear legal framework for how local authorities and other parts of the health and care system should protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect.

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Carers

For the first time, carers will be recognised in the law in the same way as those they care for. This factsheet describes how the Care Act sets out carers’ legal rights to assessments and support.

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Continuity of Care

This factsheet describes how the Act supports people to move between local authority areas in England, without suffering a gap in the care they need when they arrive in the new area.

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Market Oversight

This factsheet describes how the Act introduces a regime to oversee the financial stability of the most hard-to-replace care providers, and to ensure people’s care is not interrupted if any of these providers fail.

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Transition

This factsheet describes how the Care Act supports people moving from children’s to adult care and support services.

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Prisons

This factsheet describes how the Act sets out Local Authorities’ responsibilities for arranging and funding services to meet the care and support needs of adults who are detained in prison or who are resident in approved premises

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