HE Care Act 2014, which came into force in April, brings in major changes to the way the social care system works.
These changes are some of the biggest changes to the way social services work for many years, and they will affect both adults with care needs and people who care for other adults with care needs.
From April the council has changed legal duties to:
• carry out an assessment of an adult’s care and support needs regardless of their financial situation or level or need,
• carry out an assessment of a carer’s support needs and provide support services if they qualify,
• follow new national eligibility criteria to decide whether or not someone can get help from them,
• give people who qualify for help a care plan including a personal budget showing them how much their care and support costs,
• defer the payment of care home fees to a later date or after death, so people will not have to sell their home to pay for their care,
• provide independent advocacy support to people who need help with their care and support assessment,
• arrange care services for people who pay for their own care if they ask them to,
• provide advice and information on local services and how much they cost,
• investigate suspected abuse or neglect.
From April next year, the following additional changes will come into force:
• increased capital limits for charging people who get support,
• a cap on how much people will have to spend on their care in their lifetime. This will protect people from unlimited costs if they develop serious care needs and help them to plan for future care costs. It is proposed that the cap will be £72,000 for adults who are pensioners,
• people with eligible needs will be able to register with the council for a ‘care account’ that will show the total cost of meeting their care needs over time,
• new rights to appeal decisions about social care provision.
You can find lots more information about these changes from Salford city council’s website, at www. salford.gov.uk/care-act. You can phone Salford Social Services on 0161 909 6517. If you live outside of Salford, then check your local council’s website.
There is also the very useful Carers’ Trust website at www.carers. org.
Salford Citizens Advice has a special service to advise people about their care and support rights. For more information just phone us on 0161 206 0274.
If you have any problems, we are here to help you.
For help from Salford Citizens Advice visit your local bureau in Eccles, Irlam and Cadishead, Salford City, Swinton, Walkden or at Salford Royal.
Telephone our advice line: 0844 826 9695 (if calling from a landline or if calling from a mobile 0300 456 2554), which is open on Saturdays.
You can also follow us on Twitter for regular news and advice updates, or by going to www. salfordadvice.org.uk you can find out about all the advice services in Salford, which have come together to make getting advice easier, or visit our website at www.salfordcab.org. uk.
● Tom Togher