The Care Act

From April 2015, care and support in England is changing for the better.  The Care Act 2014 is the biggest change to adult health and social care law in over 60 years.  It will help to make the care and support system more consistent across the country.

The changes will affect people who need social care as well as their carers, local authorities and service providers.  The changes will mean clearer financial arrangements, better information and advice, improved support for carers and greater choice of services.

Care and support is the term used to describe things like washing, dressing, eating, getting out and about and keeping in touch with friends or family.

Many of us will need care and support at some time in our lives and the new national changes are designed to put you in control of the help you receive.  Any decisions about your care and support will consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family, so you can stay healthy and remain independent for longer.  If you receive care and support, or you support someone as a carer, you could benefit from the changes.

Key Changes from April 2015

Needs

For the first time, there will be a nationally agreed set of care and support needs that all councils will consider when they assess what help they can give you.

If you receive care and support, you will be in control of decisions that affect you and in putting together a care plan tailored to your needs.  Your plan will work out how you can do the things that are important to you and your family, with the right level of care and support.  You will also know how much money is spent on your care and you will have more control over how it is spent.

Everyone’s needs are different, but whatever your level of need, the council will be able to put you in touch with the right organisation to support your wellbeing and help you to remain independent for longer.

Support for carers

In England, millions of people provide unpaid care or support to an adult family member or friend, either in their own home or somewhere else.

Caring for someone covers lots of different things – helping with their washing, dressing or eating, taking them to regular appointments or keeping them company.

If this sounds like you, from April 2015, changes to the way care and support is provided in England mean you may be able to get more help so that you can carry on caring.  You may be eligible for support, taken as a personal budget to spend on the things that make caring easier or practical support, like arranging for someone to step in when you need a short break.  The council can help you find the right support and may suggest that you have a carer’s assessment.

A carer’s assessment will look at the different ways that caring affects your life and work out how you can carry on doing the things that are important to you and your family.  As a result of the assessment, you may be eligible for support from the council who will also offer you advice and guidance to help you with your caring responsibilities. You can have a carer’s assessment even if the person you care for does not get any help from the council, and they will not need to be assessed.

Deferred payment arrangements

Are you thinking about residential care and wondering how to pay for it?  From April 2015, the deferred payments agreements will be available across the whole of the country.

This means that people should not have to sell their homes to pay for residential care, as they have sometimes had to do in the past.

A deferred payment agreement is an arrangement with the council that will enable some people to use the value of their homes to fund residential care home costs.  If you are eligible, the council will pay your residential care home bills on your behalf.  You can delay repaying the council until you choose to sell your home, or until after your death.

Deferred payment arrangements will suit some people’s circumstances better than others.  A deferred payment agreement is only one way to pay for care.  To find out more about the options available, you can speak to a financial adviser or seek advice from an independent organisation such as the Money Advice Service.

View the frequently asked questions document for further information about Deferred Payment Agreements in Knowsley.

Changes from April 2016

From April 2016, a range of other changes will come into effect.  These include a lifetime cap on care costs so that there will be a limit to the amount you will have to pay for care in your lifetime.

Implementing The Care Act in Knowsley

We are currently working to make sure we are able to deliver our new responsibilities and make sure residents who need social care and support, their carers, and local providers are aware of the improvements and know how to access help and support.

For further information and support to help you live independently in Knowsley, or to help somone you care for, visit our Know your Care website.

Over the coming months, regular updates will be available on the council’s website, as well as our one stop shops and libraries.

In the meantime, further information is available below: