Introduction to the Care Act 2014
The Care Act is a new law about the care and support of adults and carers. It brings lots of pieces of legislation into one new law.
The Care Act is the biggest change in Adult Social Care legislation for 60 years. It includes everyone.
The main purpose of the Care Act is to support people to get the outcomes that matter to them in their life.
It has to focus on the needs and goals of the person and put them at the centre.
The Care Act says local authorities must make sure all adults in their area have access to information and advice on their care and support and to keep them safe from abuse and neglect.
The Care Act includes prisoners.
What does the Care Act do?
The person's wellbeing has to be at the centre of every decision that is made.
Wellbeing covers a big area, the Care Act guidance says it covers 9 areas
- personal dignity and treating the person with respect
- physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
- protection from abuse and neglect
- control by the person of their everyday life. This includes how and where their support is provided.
- being involved in work, education, training and leisure
- social and economic wellbeing
- domestic, family and personal relationships
- living in a suitable place
- being involved in the community
Local authorities must
- involve people in decisions that are made about them and their care and support
- help people to express their wishes and feelings. Support people to make choices and help them to make their own decisions.
Care Act Advocacy
Not everyone is entitled to advocacy under the Care Act. There are 2 conditions
- the person has substantial difficulty in being fully involved with their assessment, care and support planning and review or safeguarding
- there is no one appropriate and available to support and represent their wishes
- understanding relevant information
- remembering information
- using information to help them be involved in making decisions
- communicating their views, wishes and feelings
what does appropriate to support mean?
The Care Act says it is not enough to love the person and know them well. They have to be able to support the person to be involved in their care and support. They cannot be employed by the local authority or paid to support the person in another role.
Some people may not have anyone suitable or the person may not want them to be involved.
If the person meets these 2 conditions, the local authority must refer for an independent advocate.
- if a person is in hospital for more than 4 weeks
- if a person is in a care home for more than 8 weeks
- if there is a disagreement between the local authority and the appropriate individual and all agree that the involvement of an advocate would benefit the person
When to refer for an advocate
What is the advocate's role?
- a needs assessment
- a carer's assessment
- a transition assessment
- the preparation of a care and support or support plan
- a review of a care and support or support plan
- a safeguarding enquiry
- a safeguarding adult review
- an appeal or complaint about a local authority decision
- care planning
Who are advocates?
- a suitable level of experience
- appropriate training and the National Advocacy Qualification within 1 year
- integrity and good character
- be independent
- have regular supervision
- choose for the person
- be their friend
- give advice
- take other people's side