Funding care and supporting people to live independently
There has been much discussion over recent years over the funding of care in the future, and the much anticipated Care Act 2014 came into force on the 1st April 2015, although the cap on care costs will not be implemented until April 2016.
Whilst much of the detail is still unclear there are some parts that are clear, the new Act imposes a duty of a local authority when acting under the authority of this Act to promote an individual’s wellbeing. The general idea is that local authorities will shift away from fitting people into services that are available and move towards a more personalised approach to meeting their needs. This is very vague and concern has been expressed as to how useful the “wellbeing” principle will actually be, however the statutory guidance has clarified that supporting people to live independently for as long as possible is a guiding principle of the Care Act 2014.
The Care Act 2014 imposes a duty to meet an adult’s need for care and support if they meet the eligibility criteria. This means moving forward that satisfying the eligibility criteria will be crucial in determining who receives support from the Local Authority. This threshold will be established nationally and so should end the so called “post-code” lottery of care provision. The threshold is explained further in the Care and Support (Eligibility) Regulations 2014.
The impact of the Care Act 2014 should be dramatic, but only time will tell whether it will make a substantial difference to the provision of care in the future.
What kind of issues have you had in funding care for you or your loved one? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts about the pending changes with the new Act in the comments below.