The Care Act 2014 introduced the biggest change to adult social care in 60 years and aimed to transform care and support for adults and their carers.
The Care Act is built around giving you greater choice and control in what care and support you receive. It looks at what you need and what you want to achieve in life. It focuses on encouraging you to maintain your independence in everyday life and prevent problems from starting or getting worse. Clear and simple rules and guidance accompany the Act which explains what people can expect and what councils have to do.
Key themes of the Care Act
The main themes of the Care Act are around promoting:
- Independence and well-being: Having greater choice and control in what care and support you receive so that you can live your life the way you want to
- Prevention: Thinking about things that will help to stop problems before they start, or to stop them getting worse as early as possible
- Integration: Working with other organisations to provide the support that you need
- Choice and control: Your care and support plan will help you to do the things that are important to you
- Information and advice: Having good quality information to help you choose the right care and support for you
- Carers entitlements and rights: Carers will be entitled to their own assessments to see if they are eligible for support
- A lifetime cap on care costs: There will be a limit to the amount you will have to pay for care in your lifetime (this will not come into force until April 2020 - see the link at the top of this page for more information)
- A national eligibility criteria and changes to assessment for care: The same rules about who can get care and support will apply all over the country
- Advocacy: If you find it very difficult to be involved at any stage of your assessment or care planning, and there is no-one else to speak for you, then the council must find you an independent advocate who will help you to say what you want to say and represent your best interests to get the services you need
- Keeping adults safe: This is the first time we have had a law telling councils what to do to help keep adults safe from abuse or neglect.
What to expect in Stockport
The council will:
- Offer advice and information about how to keep well, stay safe and remain independent and how to get support if you need it. This includes helping you to find alternative ways of meeting your needs such as local community groups or some short term support.
- Be clear about how much money you can get to meet your needs (if you are eligible) and whether you may need to contribute to the cost of your care
- Pay you directly (if you want it) so you can make your own choices about your care
- Help you plan ahead for any care you might need in the future
- Make sure there is a wide choice of good quality and value for money services available
- Work with other agencies (like the NHS or housing providers) to identify care needs and work out how to improve services
- Give carers the same rights to an assessment and support (where eligible).
Some parts of the Care Act have been postponed by the government until 2020. Things that have been delayed include the introduction of a cap on the amount people would have to pay towards their care and 'Care Accounts' to help them keep track of the amount paid towards care costs. Read our Frequently Asked Questions to find out more.