02 September 2014

The impact of the forthcoming Care Act for adults with care needs and their carers is due to be discussed at Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet meeting next week (9th September).

From April 2015, local authorities are required to offer deferred payments to anyone in need of a care home so they will no longer be expected to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care. Currently only people who are eligible for social care have access to this scheme.

A new national eligibility criteria will be introduced and carers will also be able to be assessed for support in their own right and will have a right to support if they are eligible.

What happens next?

In 2016 the second phase of the Care Act will reform the way people are expected to pay for their care, including the introduction of a cap on care costs incurred during a person’s lifetime.

It is expected that many more carers will come forward for support and the legislation enables local authorities to charge carers for support services. Carers are not currently charged for local authority-supported services and councillors are recommended to continue this approach until April 2016 in order to assess the full impact of the legislation once it comes into effect.

Cllr Suresh Patel, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “The Care Act will have implications for local authorities across the country and it is important that we are ready to meet the demands placed on us as a council.

“Many people have no financial plans in place for their old age. This legislation introduces a cap for an individual’s care costs, meaning people will not be expected to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for their care home. The act also gives people greater control over the services they choose to purchase through a strong emphasis on personal care budgets.

“We are confident the Care Act will bring benefits for adults with care needs in Northamptonshire and their carers, and we will be lobbying the Government to make sure sufficient funding is provided to enable us to fulfil the requirements of the Care Act.”

The cabinet meeting takes place at 2pm on Tuesday 9th September in the Blue Room at County Hall in Northampton.

Where can I find out more?

The papers relating to this issue can be found on the council’s website.