The Care Act: changing care and support for the better
The Government’s Care Act introduced the biggest reforms to the social care system in more than 60 years.
Whether you are a currently receiving social care or support; if you are a carer; or if you are starting to think about your future care and support needs – it’s important to plan ahead!
- a new focus on staying well and preventing problems arising
- increased support through information, advice and advocacy
- a new national eligibility criteria for care service
- more support for carers
- introducing a cap on care costs to limit the amount individuals will have to pay for their own care
How does the Care Act improve care and support?
The Care Act aims to make care and support clearer and fairer for everybody.
It aims to help prevent people’s care needs getting more serious by providing more services and more information to help people stay healthy and independent for longer.
How do the new national eligibility criteria work?
Before the changes each council in England could decide whether a person was eligible to receive care to help them with their day-to-day life. Although they all followed Government guidelines, each council could set the level at which someone becomes eligible for care. This means that the amount and type of care provided by the council could vary depending on where a person lived.
To make this fairer, the Care Act introduced a national minimum eligibility threshold, which is consistent across England.
Do carers get more support?
The term ‘carer’ is used to describe anyone who regularly helps a family member or friend to manage their day-to-day life, when that person couldn’t manage without this help.
Carers are not paid care professionals. They are people who help others because they care. Might you be one of them?
The Government recognises how important carers are, so to make sure that all carers can get the help and support they need so that they carry on with their vital caring role, the Care Act put their rights into law for the first time.
The Care Act gives carers the right to ask for support to help making caring easier.
This might include someone to step in, so you can take a short break, or a personal budget so you can buy things that will help you to continue caring.
Will there be a cap on care costs?
The Government is planning to introduce a cap on care costs, although it was recently announced that this will be delayed until 2020.
Can I get help understanding the charges?
Yes. Under the Act, councils must provide financial advice and information for people with care and support needs. This is to help everyone so they can make informed financial decisions about paying for their care and support.
When will these changes happen?
The majority of these changes were introduced in April 2015.
There are some exceptions, such as the major changes to paying for care – which includes the cap on the cost of care. The Government recently announced that the introduction of the cap would be delayed until 2020.
How is Luton Borough Council bringing these reforms to local people?
Under the Care Act, we will be extending our care, support and information services, to make sure that, not just current service users, but all Luton residents:
- get the services that prevent their care needs from becoming more serious
- get the information and advice they need to make good decisions about their care and support
- continue to have a range of care providers offering a choice of high quality, appropriate services
I am happy with my care as it is. Will I lose it?
Whilst your care and support needs will still be reviewed from time to time as they are at present, the Care Act is not about cutting funding or taking services away.
The Care Act aims to make care and support clearer and fairer to everyone; to enable people to prevent and delay the need for care and support; and to put people in control of their care.
How can I find out more?
The adult social care section of this website has lots of information about receiving care and support, as well as information specifically for carers.
Follow this link to find out more about how you can get care and support.
Follow this link to find out more information on being a carer.
Follow this link to view the Care Act fact sheets from the Department of Health.
Tel: 01582 547659