Care Act 2014

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Your questions answered

What is the Care Act?

The Care Act is a new law about care and support for adults in England. Until now there were a lot of different laws on care and support which made it difficult to know what care and support you could get. The Care Act 2014 brings them together to make just one law.

What does the new Care Act cover?

The Care Act is mainly about people who are 18 years and over who need care and support. Local councils must have services to meet different people’s needs and give people the care and support they require to make their lives better. The Act covers things like helping you with your personal care, helping with eating or cooking meals, help in seeing friends and family and help caring for others.

How do I know what is available in my area?

Local councils must have good information to help people choose the right care and support they need. Councils must give information and advice to everyone who wants it, not just people who have their care and support paid for by the council. All care and support questions should be directed to Calderdale’s Gateway to Care, alternatively you may be able to find the information you need, here online.

I care for someone – what will the Care Act do for me?

Local councils must consider how carers can be supported to look after their own health and wellbeing and to have a life of their own alongside caring. Local councils should, where possible, include carers in establishing the correct care required for the person they support. This is called co-production and can include carers, family, friends. “Co-production” is when an individual influences the support and services received, or when groups of people get together to influence the way that services are designed, commissioned and delivered.

I have some savings, does this mean I have to pay?

You will have to pay for most sorts of care and support if you have enough money. There is a limit on how much the council can ask you to contribute to your care and support. The council will do a financial assessment to see how much money you have and ask you to pay what you can afford.

I have heard something about a ‘care cap’, what is this?

If a person is in a care home, their fees will be split into ’care costs’ and ‘hotel costs’ and once their care costs reach a certain amount of money they will not have to pay any further care costs, only hotel costs. Also, once people who have help and support by other means reach a proposed payment cap they will no longer have to pay for their care costs. The proposed amount is currently set at £72,000 and is known as the ‘Care Cap’.
It had been proposed that the ‘Care Cap’ would become law from April 2016. However, following a public consultation regarding the Care Cap and changes to the Capital Threshold, plus concerns raised by the Local Government Association, a decision has been made by the Department of Health not to implement the proposed element of the Care Act until 2020.

I live alone, I don’t understand where to get help, I need someone to fight my corner for me

If you find it very difficult to understand the different things you need to do to obtain the right care and support you need, the Council will find you an independent advocate – that is someone who will be able to speak to you and to others on your behalf.

I have my own home, will I need to sell it to pay for my care?

Not necessarily, you may be able to set up a deferred payment agreement which means that the Council will put a special clause on your house title deeds with the Land Registry, which will give the Council an entitlement to be refunded for the cost of your care once the house is sold. Interest will need to be paid to the Council while this arrangement is in place and an invoice will be sent to you on an annual basis to cover these costs.

I read a lot in the papers about poor quality of care. How will I be kept safe?

The Council has a Monitoring Team which regularly looks at all care provided in Calderdale. The Monitoring Team have very close links to the Safeguarding Team therefore any concerns which arise are discussed thoroughly and actioned where necessary. To provide additional support in our quest to improve the quality of care in Calderdale we have an Independent Reviewing Team who make visits to services users to make sure the service they are receiving is fit for purpose and the individual is safe. Again, if they have any Safeguarding concerns these are raised immediately with the Safeguarding Team.

What do I need to do to get the help I need?

If you feel you need care and support you should contact our Gateway to Care Team in the first instance. They are our experts. Gateway to Care staff will either be able to deal with your question there and then or alternatively pass your concern on to another team. This may involve an assessment by a member of the Care Management Team, a visit from the Charging Assessment Team and other members of our team. Following the assessment, we will let you know if you are eligible for care and support and the different forms this may take.

I do not live in Calderdale at the moment but I want to move closer to my family. What do I need to do?

If you would like to move to Calderdale you should speak to our Gateway to Care Team who will advise you about a Portable Assessment (someone where you live now will carry out your assessment and send your details through to Adults, Health and Social Care, here at Calderdale Council). Once received, we can put the support you need in place. If you want to move out of Calderdale to another area, we will also be able to provide a Portable Assessment which your new local council will action. We will liaise with that council to make sure your transfer is smooth and problem free.

If you have any further questions, please speak to our Gateway to Care Team  who will be happy to help.

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Last Updated: 16/02/2017