The Care Act

The Care Act

Care and support in England is changing.   The Care Act aims to help to make care and support more consistent across the country. Phase 1 of the Act was introduced in April 2015, with phase 2 of the Act introducing further changes in April 2020 as directed by central government.

Care and support

'Care and support' is the term used to describe the help some adults need to live as well as possible with any illness or disability they may have. It can include help with things like getting out of bed, washing, dressing, getting to work, cooking meals, eating, seeing friends, caring for families and being part of the community.

It might also include emotional support at a time of difficulty and stress, helping people who are caring for an adult family member or friend or even giving others a lift to a social event.

Care and support includes the help given by family and friends, as well as any provided by the council or other organisations.

Your wellbeing

Many of us will need care and support at some point in our lives and most people will pay at least something towards the cost of their care. The new national changes are designed to help you plan for the future and put you more in control of the help you receive. Any decisions about your care and support must consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family, so you can stay healthy and remain independent for longer.

If you receive care and support, or you support someone as a carer, you could benefit from the changes.

You could benefit from the changes if you:

  • receive care and support
  • support someone as a carer
  • are planning for future care and support

What is changing?

In April 2015, we introduced:

  • A new national level of care and support needs to make care and support more consistent across the country
  • New support for carers
  • Deferred payment agreements

More changes to the way people pay for care and support will be introduced in 2020. These will protect people with the highest needs from facing unlimited costs, and provide more financial support to people with modest means.

These changes will include:

  • A lifetime cap on care costs
  • Extended financial support

Care and support: frequently asked questions (Word 548kb)

In England, millions of people provide unpaid care or support to an adult family member or friend, either in their own home or somewhere else.

'Caring' for someone covers lots of different things, like helping with their washing, dressing or eating, taking them to regular appointments or keeping them company when they feel lonely or anxious.

If this sounds like you, you may be able to get more help so that you can carry on caring and look after your own wellbeing.

Support for carers - further information

The way care and support needs are assessed in England has changed, meaning that decisions made about the help you receive now consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family.

For the first time, there is a national level of care and support needs that all councils consider when we assess what help we can give to you.  This may result in you being eligible for care and support, and it makes it easier for you to plan for the future.

Whatever your level of need, we can put you in touch with the right organisation to support your wellbeing and help you remain independent for longer.

Deferred payment agreements are available as a method of paying for care.  This means that people should not have to sell their homes to pay for care, as they have sometimes had to do in the past.

A deferred payment agreement is an arrangement with the council that enables some people to use the value of their homes to pay for their care. If you are eligible, we will help to pay the care home bills on your behalf.  You can delay repaying us until you choose to sell your home, or until after your death.