The Care Act 2014

The Care Act modernised the law to put people’s well being at the heart of the care and support system. The Care Act introduced legislation to provide protection and support to the people who need it most and to take forward elements of the government’s initial response to the Francis enquiry.

The Act:

  • gives people peace of mind that they will be treated with compassion when in hospital, care homes or their own home
  • brings together existing care and support legislation into a new, modern set of laws and builds the system around people’s well being, needs and goals
  • sets out new rights for carers, emphasis the need to prevent and reduce care and support needs and introduces eligibility threshold for care and support
  • introduces a cap on the costs that people will have to pay for care and sets out a universal deferred payment scheme so that people will not have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for residential care.  The Government has decided to delay implementation of the cap on care costs system, including changes to the means test, until 2020.

The core purpose of adult care and support is to help people to achieve the outcomes that matter to them in their life. Throughout the Care Act guidance document, the different chapters set out how a local authority should go about performing its care and support responsibilities.

Underpinning all of these individual “care and support functions” (that is, any process, activity or broader responsibility that the local authority performs) is the need to ensure that doing so focuses on the needs and goals of the person concerned.

What must local authorities do?

1.2. Local authorities must promote wellbeing when carrying out any of their care and
support functions in respect of a person. This may sometimes be referred to as “the wellbeing
principle” because it is a guiding principle that puts wellbeing at the heart of care and support.

1.3. The wellbeing principle applies in all cases where a local authority is carrying out a
care and support function, or making a decision, in relation to a person. For this reason it is
referred to throughout this guidance. It applies equally to adults with care and support needs
and their carers.

1.4. In some specific circumstances, it also applies to children, their carers and to young
carers when they are subject to transition assessments (see chapter 16 on transition to adult
care and support).

Fact sheets accompany Part 1 of the Care Act 2014: provide an overview and the duties and powers local authorities will have in the future. View the facts sheets on the Government website.

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