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The Care Act has received royal assent

May 18 2014

What does it mean for Livability service users?

Hailed by Care Minister Norman Lamb as ‘the most significant reform of care and support in more than 60 years’, the Care Act has changed the ways in which local councils are responsible for Care services.  At the heart of the Act is the concept of well being and placing the whole person at the centre of care planning and provision.s216_Norman_Lamb_960x640

Amongst the numerous changes, the Act sees the introduction of a new inspection methodology by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for residential care homes and providers. The new inspection process will come into effect in October 1st and is similar in nature to OFSTED within the education sector.  The new methodology aims to place a greater emphasis on gathering the service user experience across all key areas of inspection. This will have an impact on Livability’s residential care services which will now be judged according to these new regulations. The Act also includes the following changes:

  • New powers for the chief inspector of social care to hold poor-performing providers to account;
  • An introduction of a new minimum eligibility of threshold which will standardise the time at which local councils are obliged to provide care. Previously, the threshold was decided by the local authority itself meaning that the time at which you might receive care varied across the country;
  • New rights for carers including the right to an assessment of their needs and the right to get support if they meet eligibility criteria;
  • A duty on local councils to consider the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of the individual needing care;
  • The provision and legislation of Personal Budgets thereby giving people the power to spend money on tailored care that suits their individual needs as part of their support plan.

Livability supports the Act’s aspirations to put the concept of wellbeing and the individual at the heart of the care system. However, there are some concerns. Livability is aware that the national minimum eligibility criteria – which gauges whether someone qualifies for formal or informal social care – is likely to be set at a higher level, meaning some people will be left out. The regulations are currently being reviewed and so this will not be clear until they are finalised. As in our original post on the Care Bill (see below) Livability still remains concerned that not all of the legislative changes can be fully enforced due to a lack of funding.

The Department of Health is expected to launch a consultation on the draft regulations and guidance relating to elements within the Act in the near future.

For a full breakdown of the Act see our web article from March 2014: https://www.livability.org.uk/news/2014/care-bill-explained/

Or you can read an overview by the UK Government: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/care-bill-becomes-care-act-2014

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