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The Care Act 2014

In April 2015, care and support in England changed for the better. The new Care Act is helping to make the care and support system more consistent across the country.

Many of us will need care and support at some point in our lives, and most people will pay at least something towards the cost of their care.

The national changes are designed to help you plan for the future and put you more 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. A short video has been produced to explain these changes:

Who will this affect?

The changes will affect you if you are:

  • Currently receiving care, whether you pay for it yourself, have a personal budget, or your care is provided by Wolverhampton City Council
  • A carer
  • Investigating social care for yourself or someone else you know
  • If you are a provider of care and support

What are the main changes?

  • There will be a national level of care and support needs that all councils will consider when they assess what help they can give you. This may result in you being eligible for care and support, and will make it easier for you to make plans now and in the future
  • If you decide to move to another area, councils will also have to work together to make sure that there is no gap in your care when you move.
  • If you receive care and support, you will be more in control of decisions that affect you, and of 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 it will cost to meet your needs and how much the council will contribute towards the cost. You will have more control over how that money is spent.
  • You may find that the support you need could be met by something going on in your local community, for example services organised by local charities or other support networks. 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 remain independent for longer.
  • If you are a carer, 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. Or you may prefer to be put in touch with local support groups so you have people to talk to.
  • 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.

What are the financial changes?

A deferred payment agreement scheme (an arrangement with the council that will enable some people to use the value of their homes to fund residential care home costs) is available in Wolverhampton. This means that people should not have to sell their homes in their lifetime to pay for their care, as they have sometimes had to do in the past.

In July 2015, it was announced that the plans for the financial reforms due to take place in April 2016 would be deferred for four years, until 2020. These changes would have included:

  • A lifetime cap on care of no more than £72,000
  • An extension of the means testing limits - meaning more people would have been eligible for dome level of financial support and;
  • A duty on Council's to meet the needs of those people funding their own care if they requested that the Local Authority arrange their care for them.

Wolverhampton City Council will continue to plan for the changes in 2020 and will provide you with information as soon as any further announcements are made about the funding reform proposals.

How are the changes to be implemented in Wolverhampton?

A programme of work has been running since the care act was given its royal assent (passed into law) in 2014. A number of key pieces of work have been undertaken to ensure that Wolverhampton City Council is able to meet its duties under the Care Act. The Council is also working with partners in health, housing and the community sector to ensure that a wide range of people and services are involved in making the vision of the Care Act a reality in Wolverhampton.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the Care Act and Wolverhampton's response, please contact us:

Email: careact@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Helpline: 01902 551199

Write to:

Steven Cartwright,
Projects and Programmes Team,
Wolverhampton City Council,
Civic Centre,
St. Peter's Square,
Wolverhampton,
WV1 1RT

Further information

 More detail on the Care Act from the Department of Health is available through the links below.