People can find out more about big changes to social care and support services being introduced when the Care Act 2014 comes into force later this year.

The Care Act has been described as the biggest reform of care in 60 years, and will help make social care and support more consistent across the country.

The Government says the care system in England has evolved piecemeal over the years, and as a result has become confusing and hard to navigate for those needing help and support.

The Care Act, which will be introduced from April, will set out new rights for people needing care and support and make it clear what kind of care they can expect to receive.

In particular, it seeks to promote people's wellbeing and the use of preventative services, information and advice and support in the community to help them live independently for as long as possible.

It will also give carers new rights so that they receive help before they reach crisis point while councils and partner organisations will be given responsibilities to promote wellbeing and preventative services and provide information and advice to prospective care users.

From April 2016, it will introduce a lifetime care spending cap of no more than £72,000 to protect service users from excessive care costs, along with a new single national eligibility threshold and measures to ensure continuity of care for people who move from one area to another.

Councillor Steve Evans, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "Many of us will need care and support at some point in our lives, and most of us will pay at least something towards the cost of our care.

"The changes being introduced through the Care Act are designed to help people plan for the future, give them more control over the help they receive and also limit the amount they have to pay towards care costs.

"We've already done a lot of work in Wolverhampton to meet the requirements of the Care Act, particularly around the personalisation of services.

"Our processes are already very much geared up to providing information and advice, giving people greater control over the care they receive and enabling them to access preventative services, so that wherever possible they are able to remain independent for longer, often in their own home.

"The Care Act will reinforce this work and give both service users and carers greater rights."

A new webpage giving information about the Care Act 2014, and how it is likely to affect people, is now available at Type=articles;Articleid=6015;Title=The Care Act 2014;. Alternatively, people can email or call 01902 551672 to find out more.

Wolverhampton City Council is working closely with partners in health, housing and the community sector to ensure that it is ready to meet its duties under the Care Act.

  • released: Thursday 15 January, 2015