Care Act 2014: launch of care and support consultation – Independent Age’s response

Simon Bottery, Director of Policy at Independent Age, says:

“We welcome many aspects of the regulations and guidance, particularly those that protect people against unfair top-ups and require councils to develop information and advice plans. But some aspects of the new rules remain deeply troubling, including the scarcely believable requirement for older people to demonstrate that being unable to wash or dress themselves has an effect on their wellbeing. The Department of Health has made a serious error here that will have to be addressed as part of the consultation.

“Many of the proposals in today’s consultation only help adults in receipt of local authority care. The reality is that 87% of councils in England currently restrict who gets care and support so only adults with substantial or critical needs get help. Today’s consultation appears to shut out 800,000 older people who will in all likelihood remain ineligible for council help with the day-to-day support they so badly need to maintain independence. The new eligibility threshold provides much needed certainty about the level of care councils need to provide from April 2015: but it’s the grim certainty that for large numbers of people, your council will only support you if you struggle with the most rudimentary task.

“Some of the guidance about what local authorities have to help people with appears contradictory - particularly around maintaining relationships and accessing services within the community”.

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