Countdown to care reform begins

 

The most significant reform in social care for more than 60 years comes into effect on 1 April, and Croydon Council is urging people who give and receive care to find out how the changes will affect them.

The council is expected, at Monday’s cabinet meeting, to agree its Market Position Statement, a document outlining its expectations of service providers in tackling inequalities across a range of issues – including health, workforce development, the equal distribution of service across the borough, and ensuring the safeguarding of vulnerable adults.

The main beneficiaries of the new Care Act are those who receive care and support, and the carers who provide that assistance.

The following are among a number of new duties being introduced.

  • Carers will have new rights to assessment and, potentially, to council support. The change allows carers to get the support they need for themselves. This could be practical support – such as being able to take a break from caring responsibilities, assistance from the Carers Centre or Crossroads within the borough, or potentially being entitled to a direct payment to spend on things that will make it easier to carry on caring.
  • The changes will introduce a new national eligibility threshold, providing peace of mind that, wherever you live in the country – or plan to move to within England – if your needs meet the threshold, you will be eligible for support. This support is means assessed, so, for self-funders, the council would be expecting to provide helpful advice and support. Changes in respect of providing care accounts (the method of monitoring how much you have spent on eligible social care) are expected to be introduced from April 2016. The council will be communicating closer to the time to ensure it is ready for these changes.
  • As is already the case in Croydon, deferred payment agreements will become available across the country, meaning that people should not have to sell their home in their lifetime to fund their residential care costs.

Any decisions about care and support will take into consideration people’s mental, physical and emotional well-being, with a focus on supporting people to stay healthy and remain independent for longer.

“We’re committed to supporting local people with their needs for care and support.

“We’re confident that the changes we’re making will enable more people to get the help they need, whether that’s a carer who needs a break from caring, or somebody who may be able to move to a care home without having to undergo the stress of selling their home.”

Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member people and communities

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Croydon Council provides comprehensive information and advice about care and support services in the borough to help people understand the options available, and how its support services can be accessed.

To find out about local care and support, visit www.croydon.gov.uk/careact

An explanatory leaflet is available in accessible formats by emailing careact@croydon.gov.uk

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