‘What the Care Act means for me’

Key areas of change from 2020 include:

  • General responsibilities on local authorities including promoting people’s wellbeing, focusing on prevention and providing information and advice
  • The introduction of a national eligibility criteria
  • New rights to support for carers, on an equivalent basis to the people they care for
  • Legal right to a personal budget and direct payment
  • The extension of local authority adult social care responsibility to include prisons
  • New responsibilities around transition, provider failure, supporting people who move between local authority areas and safeguarding

Major reforms to the way that social care is funded will be effective from April 2016, including:

  • An increase in the capital threshold for people in residential care who own their own home

How will this affect services in Torbay?

Torbay Council and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust have a long-standing commitment, and track record, to ensure that people who use both health and social care services have integrated care – services that work together to give best care based on a person’s personal circumstances.

The Care Act further develops this principle by the shift from the Local Authority’s duty to provide services to meeting needs. Of course, everyone has individual needs so we won’t be able to comply with the Act by providing ‘one size fits all’ services, but by putting the person at the centre, to meet his or her diverse needs. We will offer information and advice to help everyone understand what support they will need to help them better plan for the future. This isn’t just about making things easier to understand – it’s also about changing the way we care for people.

These changes will give people more choice and control over how they will pay for their care and support.

We are closely working with organisations, such as Healthwatch and other voluntary and community sector organisations to co-produce changes, and to communicate with service users and residents, to involve them in the implementation of the Care Act.

Under the Care Act, we will have to consider various factors:

  • what services, facilities and resources are already available in the area (for example local voluntary and community groups), and how these might help local people
  • identifying people in the local area who might have care and support needs that are not being met
  • identifying carers in the area who might have support needs that are not being met

In taking on this role we will collaboratively work with our community partners and provide or arrange services that help to keep people well and independent. This should include identifying the local support and resources already available and helping people to access them.