Neil Cook
Partner, Solicitor & Head of Business Services
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Date Published:10 Mar 2016 Last Updated:28 Jul 2021

Care Act 2014 – funding problems already?

Business Services

The Care Act 2014 will become law in April 2015. The Act reforms the way that local authorities commission and provide services and will have a major impact on service providers. The Act puts people at the centre of their care, with an expectation that they will have choice and control over the care they receive. At the heart of this is a requirement by local authorities to offer services that promote the health and well being of the person – aiming to improve physical, mental and emotional well being and reduce or delay a person’s need for care and support.

The Department of Health issued its “Care and Support Statutory Guidance” in October 2014. This provides details of how local authorities should promote well being, prevent illness and the types of service they should develop or contract to achieve this.

However, according to the Local Government Association’s latest research, 90% of councils are concerned about the cost of implementing the forthcoming reforms. In a survey of 152 local authorities, 134 stated that additional funding would be required to fill, what they anticipated to be, a funding gap. One of the major concerns is the uncertainty regarding the numbers of self-funders in each region that could request an assessment from a local authority to limit their expenditure of care costs under the new system. This can only add burden on local authorities whose adult social care budgets are already buckling under the strain.

Only time will tell whether the new system is workable, but the clock starts ticking on 1st April 2015.

For further information please contact me on 01202 525333 or neil.cook@ellisjones.co.uk.