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The Care Act 2014

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This advice and guidance is concerned with the Care Act 2014 and how if affects you.

What is the Care Act 2014?

As of 1 April 2015, the Care Act introduces changes to the way support and care is provided to adults aged 18 and over in England.

It means councils have to meet new national standards of care and support to make them consistent across the country.

The changes will affect and may benefit:

  • People who receive care and support
  • Carers
  • People who are planning for their own or someone else's future care and support.

There is more information in this video

What is changing?

Wellbeing

Many people will need care and support at some point in their lives. The new national changes are designed to help them plan for the future and put them more in control of the help they receive.

Any decisions about care and support will consider wellbeing and what is important to an individual and their family, so they can stay healthy and remain independent for as long as possible. Whatever the level of need, we will be able to put you in touch with the right organisation to support your needs in the future.

Support for carers

In England, millions of people provide unpaid care or support to an adult family member or friend, either in their own home or somewhere else.

Caring for someone covers lots of different things, like helping with a person’s washing, dressing or eating, taking them to regular appointments or keeping them company when they feel lonely or anxious.

If this sounds like you, changes to the way care and support is provided may mean you are be able to get more help so that you can carry on caring for someone and to look after your own wellbeing.

Needs and eligibility

For the first time, there will be a national level of care and support needs that all councils must consider when they assess what help they can give to carers and the people they care for. This may result in you being eligible for care and support which should make it easier for you to plan for the future.

Care and support is the term used to describe the help some adults need to live as well as possible with an illness or disability and includes the help given by family and friends, as well as any support provided by the council or other organisations. This can include help with things like getting out of bed, washing, dressing, getting to work, cooking meals, eating, seeing friends, caring for families and being part of the community. 

Deferred payment agreements

Deferred payment agreements will continue to be available to Sandwell residents. This means that people should not have to sell their homes to pay for care, as they have sometimes had to do in the past.

A deferred payment agreement is an arrangement with the council that will enable some people to use the value of their homes to pay for their care. If you are eligible, we will help to pay the care home bills on your behalf. You can delay repaying us until you choose to sell your home, or until after your death.

How will the Act help prevent people developing care and support needs?

The Care Act will help to improve people’s independence and wellbeing. It makes clear that local authorities must provide or arrange services that help prevent people developing needs for care and support or delay people deteriorating such that they would need ongoing care and support.

Local authorities will have to consider various factors:

  • what services, facilities and resources are already available in the area (for example local voluntary and community groups), and how these might help local people
  • identifying people in the local area who might have care and support needs that are not being met
  • identifying carers in the area who might have support needs that are not being met

In taking on this role, local authorities will work with their communities and provide or arrange services that help to keep people well and independent. This should include identifying the local support and resources already available, and helping people to access them.

Local authorities should also provide or arrange a range of services which are aimed at reducing needs and helping people regain skills, for instance after a spell in hospital. They should work with other partners, like the NHS, to think about what types of service local people may need now and in the future.