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Wednesday 1 April 2015

Phase one of the Care Act comes into effect today (1 April 2015) – bringing the biggest overhaul of social care legislation for over 60 years.

The Act brings a new focus on wellbeing. This means that local authorities have new duties to consider the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of the person needing care.

This is nothing new for MHA – we have been nurturing the mind, body and spirit of the older people we serve since MHA was founded, back in 1943. It’s great to see the legislation finally catching up with our way of thinking.

The Act also brings a new focus on the importance of preventing, delaying or reducing needs. This means local authorities have new duties to provide preventative services to help people stay well and to stay independent.

Our Live at Home services are a great example of how we already work to offer social contact and support for older people who want to continue living a fulfilled life at home without becoming isolated.

The Act is intended to help put people and their carers in control of their own care and support, and to introduce the same rules for eligibility for care and support regardless of where you live and new rights for carers.

You may have also heard about the money side of things -  the Act is intended to make things fairer for people who have to pay for their social care, with a proposed ‘cap’ of £72,000 on the total amount anyone will have to pay towards their care. These changes don’t come in until April 2016 and the Government has consulted on the detail - MHA has responded. These elements will be finalised later in the year.

For more information on the Care Act, there are Government factsheets and our guide, which you can download by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

Liz Jones

Head of Policy and Research 

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