Carers Rights under the Care Act 2014
Do you care for a friend or relative, or are you planning for future care and support? Do you feel you need support as a carer but have not had a carer’s assessment? Are you unhappy with an assessment that has been completed?
The bulk of the Care Act 2014 came into effect on 1st April 2015, modernising over 60 years of care and support law in England.
According to the Office of National Statistics 2011 census there were approximately 5.8 million people providing unpaid care in England and Wales in 2011, representing just over one tenth of the population, with unpaid care having increased at a faster pace than population between 2001 and 2011. The absolute number of unpaid carers had grown by 600,000 since 2001, with the largest growth in the highest unpaid category providing 50 or more hours per week of care. The figure is expected to have grown since that time and there are now estimated to be 6.5 million carers in the UK, Carers UK.
Against this backdrop it is vital that the demands on carers are acknowledged and that carers are really valued for the role they play.
The new legislation is intended to make care and support more consistent across England and brings about significant changes for the better for carers. Under the new Act local authorities have the primary responsibility of promoting individual wellbeing. It shifts from a duty to provide services to meeting needs. There is a focus on preventing delaying or reducing development of needs.
Under the new Act, an adult is to be considered to be a “carer” if they provide or intend to provide care for another adult, but not if it is by virtue of a contract or as voluntary work, unless the local authority considers that the relationship is such that it would be appropriate to do so.
Carers provide support to others but, to do this they can require support themselves.
Many carers can feel overworked and isolated and do not have time for themselves. A number of carers care for more than one person.
Impact of the Care Act 2014 on Carers
- Removes the previous requirement for a carer to provide or intend to provide “regular or substantial” care.
- Removes the requirement for a carer to request an assessment.
- Gives carers the free standing right to an assessment independent of the person with care needs’ rights.
Importantly this means a carer will be entitled to a carer’s assessment even if the person they care for is not assessed to have eligible needs or if the person refused to be assessed.
- The carer’s assessment must consider whether the carer is willing and able to continue to care. It is to have regard to any employment, training or education the carer partakes in or has ambitions to partake in.
- Creates a new duty and power for a carer’s need for support to be met.
N.B. The Care Act 2014 does not address the needs of those caring for disabled children. Different legislation applies. Please contact the Community Care Team if you require more information on this.
The Community Care team at Ridley & Hall understands the demands placed on you as a carer and the importance of the role you play. We believe that investment in support for carers when they first start to need it can prevent or delay the need for the provision of more substantial and expensive services in the future and can help carers to maintain their own health meaning that they can continue their caring role if they wish to.
We work to obtain the support and services that carers need to enable them to continue the fantastic work they do. Contact our specialist Community Care Team on 01484 538421 for more information and advice.
We have a community care contract and you may be eligible for Legal Aid.