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24 JUN 2014

Care reforms receive Royal Assent

Penny  Letts OBE

Policy consultant

Care reforms receive Royal Assent

On 14 May 2014, Parliament gave Royal Assent to the Care Bill bringing in the Care Act 2014. Welcoming the passing of the Act, Care Minister Norman Lamb said:

‘The Care Act represents the most significant reform of care and support in more than 60 years, putting people and their carers in control of their care and support. For the first time, the Act will put a limit on the amount anyone will have to pay towards the costs of their care.

And, crucially, the Act delivers key elements of the government’s response to the Francis Inquiry into the awful events at Mid Staffordshire hospital, increasing transparency and openness and helping drive up the quality of care across the system.’

The Act introduces numerous changes to health and social care provision, including putting personal budgets on a legal footing and placing a duty on councils to provide preventive services to support people’s health. The legislation also introduces a national minimum eligibility threshold for council-funded social care and a limit on the amount people will have to pay towards their own care costs.

Other measures in the Act include:

  • a duty on councils to consider the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals in need of care;
  • new powers for the chief inspector of social care to hold poor-performing providers to account;
  • a requirement for councils to offer deferred payment schemes so that individuals do not have to sell their homes to pay for residential care in their lifetime; and
  • new rights for carers including the right to an assessment of their needs and the right to get support if they meet eligibility criteria;
  • the Department of Health will launch a consultation of the draft regulations and guidance connected to the measures within Act in the near future.

Professor Luke Clements of Cardiff Law School has published an overview of the key provisions of the Care Act 2014. To download the Overview, click here.

The above news item was originally published issue 2 of 2014 of Elder Law Journal.

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