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The Care Act 2014

Information about our legal requirements under the Care Act 2014.

The care act is new law about care and support for adults in England, which came into action from April 2015. Before the new act there were different laws that have been brought together to form clear guidance on what people are able to get, the processes and what councils need to do.

What has changed?

Care Act 2014 states that we must promote wellbeing when supporting you; wellbeing is about how we think, feel and behave. Wellbeing is a broad term that includes a wide range of areas in a person’s life, what is considered wellbeing to one person may differ from another.

The Care Act 2014 sets out how we approach people from a social care perspective, and below are the different areas the care act says we must consider when assessing a person’s wellbeing:

  • Personal dignity- feeling you are valued and treated with respect
  • Physical, mental and emotional wellbeing
  • Protection from abuse and neglect
  • Control over your day to day life
  • Participation in work, education, training or recreation
  • Social and economic wellbeing
  • Domestic, family and personal relationships
  • Stability of living accommodation
  • Your contribution to society

What other changes are there under the care act?

The care act introduced some other changes too; all based on the wellbeing principles, and below is a summary of these changes:

  • Independence and wellbeing
    Supporting your wellbeing is at the heart of care and support we offer, we can offer this in a variety of ways and not just through providing council services. Your personal goals and wishes are taken into account when we work with you to meet your needs.
  • Preventing and delaying needs
    We will help you as soon as possible to prevent or delay future care needs from developing. We also help to prevent current needs deteriorating through supporting you to regain skills, independence and confidence.
  • Choice and control
    We will support you in doing the things that are important to you, by developing support plans that outline your choices and put you in control. Where you are not eligible for social care support we offer information and advice about the range of local services you can explore.
  • Information and advice
    We will take a lead role in the provision of information and advice and make sure it covers what most people in Lewisham need, covering a wide range of areas.
  • Carers
    If you provide another person with unpaid help you are a “carer”, you are now recognised by law the same way as those you care for. If you care for another person  you can now be considered for a carer’s assessment. From 1 April 2019 in Lewisham information and advice on this process can be provided by Your Voice in Health and Social Care.
  • A lifetime cap on care costs
    From 2020 there will be a limit to the amount you will have to pay for care in your lifetime.
    Find out more information about care costs.
  • A national eligibility criteria and changes to assessments
    We will undertake an assessment of need for any adult in Lewisham who appears to have any level of need for care and support, regardless of whether we think you have eligible needs. Under the care act the eligibility criteria have been changed to national criteria used across the UK - see below.

When do we provide advocacy?

We must include you in all decisions made about your care and support, if you have any substantial difficulty in being involved in these processes and there is no appropriate person to support you, then we shall consider providing an independent advocate to support and represent you. 

Many people who qualify for advocacy under the care act will also qualify for advocacy under the mental capacity act 2005.

The same advocate can provide support as an advocate under the care act as under the mental capacity act. This is to promote seamless advocacy and not have to repeat your story to different advocates.

What are the changes to Safeguarding Adults?

The new care act law tells us what we need to do to keep adults safe from abuse and neglect in fact the good work we have undertaken over the years in Lewisham is now underpinned by law. 

This means Lewisham council and its partners have a role to play in working together, making enquiries, cooperating with each other and establish an adult safeguarding board (SAB) to agree inter working procedures; this means clear lines of communication and working together to protect adults at risk of abuse and neglect.

What is an assessment?

An assessment is a process by which we find out what help and support you need, we ask a lot of questions about your life and your views.

We ask questions about your conditions, personal care, eating and drinking, using the toilet, meals, eating and drinking, your physical, mental and emotional health, social life and access to work and education.

We find out whether your needs effects your wellbeing and decide, with you, the best way we can help. Even if you do not have eligible needs for social care support you will be offered information and advice which will include local services that can help you.

Who gets an assessment?

If you are an adult and you think you have care and support needs you can contact us for an assessment, we will undertake an initial information gathering assessment over the phone and talk you through the next steps.

You may be offered an assessment or some information, advice and sign posting for another service that is better placed to help you.

What is the eligibility for care and support?

The care act implemented a national eligibility threshold across the UK; this means that everybody in the UK is now assessed using exactly the same criteria for care and support.

Below is an outline of the national eligibility criteria for care and support;

  • The adults needs arise from or are related to a physical or mental impairment or illness
  • As a result of the adults needs the adult is unable to achieve two or more of the outcomes related to wellbeing
  • As a consequence there is, or likely to be, a significant impact on the persons wellbeing

The care state that wellbeing is defined by the following outcomes

  • Managing and maintaining nutrition
  • Maintaining personal hygiene
  • Managing toilet needs
  • Being appropriately clothed
  • Being able to make use of the adults home safely
  • Maintaining a habitable home environment
  • Developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships
  • Accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
  • Making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport, and recreational facilities and services
  • Carrying out caring responsibilities the adult has for a child

What is a personal budget?

Following your assessment, if you are eligible, a personal budget is allocated, this is the amount of money we provide to meet your care needs.

We have a legal duty under the care act to provide you with this information and will help plan the best way to use this money to meet your needs, this is called a care and support plan.

What is a care and support plan?

The support plan process is there to help you decide the best way to use your budget to meet your needs. We have support planners that will meet with you and anyone else important to you and work out what you can do for yourself, what you need help with, what you wish to achieve the types of support available to you already.

Your needs can be met through council services, voluntary sector, local business, education or leisure services. If a person lacks capacity then an advocate will be involved to support you with this process.

The end result is an agreement about how your money will be used to meet your goals, aspirations and needs.