In our most recent Annual Survey, many carers requested information about the Care Act 2014; a new piece of legislation all about carers and who they look after. Last week, Carers Centre staff all took part in Care Act training, to ensure our knowledge is up to date.
The Care Act 2014 aims to improve the rights, appreciation and wellbeing of carers in the UK. An interesting goal of the Care Act is the achievement of good wellbeing for every carer. The policy is very person-focused, meaning the independence, freedom and happiness of each carer is a big priority in the Care Act. Wellbeing is a current political buzzword and a hugely important thing to aspire to, but as a concept it is hard to define. As a result, the Care Act introduces specific rights to wellbeing; something that is inherently unspecific. It’s almost trying to bring universal rights to something that is very personal.
One of these rights is the entitlement to a carer’s assessment if you are seen to have a need for one. Currently, you have to provide ‘regular and substantial’ care to receive an assessment, but the new Care Act means the amount of care is almost irrelevant. If the local authority thinks you need an assessment then it is now your right to receive one. The training was very informative but it was exhausting to get our heads around! There’s so much legal jargon to understand and endless bits of paper to grapple with. However, it was great to learn more about it, and I can’t wait to see how it shapes the lives of carers in the coming months.