The Care Act 2014 represented the most significant set of changes to social care law in England for sixty years. It was hoped it would simplify the law. Another key objective included delivering a more consistent approach to how care and support gets arranged across different parts of the country. When the Care Act was introduced the vision was that it would enable a more person-centred system, with individual wellbeing at its core.

Independent Age believes the Care Act remains an important piece of legislation, but local authorities need sustainable funding to ensure it works in practice and all the original objectives of the Act can be fulfilled.

We have undertaken research in the past to see whether it is bringing about the necessary improvements in how older people experience care and support. We first did this with our 2016 reports, which like this one, were based on Freedom of Information requests to top tier authorities with social services responsibilities.

This new policy briefing examines key aspects of the Care Act 2014 and local authorities’ performance, policies and practice in three key areas:

  • Market shaping – delivering a sustainable care market, with quality and diverse options for local residents with care needs
  • Deferred payments – delivering on the government’s commitment that no one should have to sell their home to pay for their care
  • Care home top-up fees – delivering stronger protections to avoid residents and their relatives paying higher than necessary care home fees, but also facilitating choice of accommodation