The Care Act and you

A new piece of law is replacing all health and social care legislation. How does it affect you?

What is the Care Act?

The Care Act outlines how care and support should be provided in England. It is aimed at making care and support, and the way we pay for it, clearer, easier to access and more consistent across the country.

People affected by the changes

You may benefit from the changes to care and support if you:

  • receive care and support from your council or another organisation, either at home or in a care home
  • give unpaid care and support to an adult family member or friend
  • think you may need care and support in the near future, either for yourself or for someone you help.

Wellbeing and health

The new law, which came into effect in April 2015, promotes wellbeing and health with emphasis on personal dignity, physical and mental health, protection from abuse and neglect and control over day-to-day life.

Watch the video below if you would like an overview.

The Care Act

Here is a brief summary of the Care Act:

Information and advice

Councils are responsible for people having access to timely information and advice. This includes information about preventative services that help people to stay well and access to independent financial advice. Information and advice about adult social care.


Local authorities, working with partners, have a responsibility to try to prevent, reduce and delay care needs by helping people improve their independence and wellbeing. Living at home.


Needs assessment should focus on what the person wants to achieve. Individuals should be able to do their own assessment if they can. About assessments.

National eligibility criteria

People with similar needs will have the same eligibility for support, regardless of where they live. For the first time, all councils will consider the same national level of care and support needs when we assess what help we can give you. About eligibility.

Care planning

Care and support plans should focus on outcomes to improve a person's wellbeing and reduce needs.


The Care Act puts carers on an equal footing to those they care for. There is a new duty to involve carers in developing a person's support plan. Find out more on the Carers Oxfordshire website.


There are new requirements to work with partners to safeguard people against harm, abuse or neglect as far as possible. More information about safeguarding.

Independent advocacy

If someone needs support to be involved in assessment, review or care planning and a family member can't provide this, councils must arrange an independent advocate. Someone to help you make decisions.

You can also find out more by going to independent Care Act advocacy.

Supporting local services

Councils must work with organisations that provide care and support services to make sure that people have a choice of high quality services in their area.

Planning for adulthood

When assessing a child, young carers or adult caring for a child, councils must plan for adulthood and ensure that services are in place to support this. See our pages on moving into adulthood for young people with special educational needs (SEN).

Moving between areas

Councils have a new duty to provide continuity of care when a person moves to a new local authority.

Paying for care

Councils have new powers to decide what services are charged for, if people can afford to pay.

The deferred payments scheme (for people who don't wish to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care) is expanded to be more widely available. See paying for care.

From April 2016, the amount that people pay for their care will be capped, so that councils pay for any further care costs once the cap is reached.

Please note that your progress towards the care cost cap will be based on the amount the council considers you need to pay for your care.

This amount will be your personal budget which will not include the living costs charge which the Care Act will introduce from 1 April 2016 for residents in care homes. Find out more about paying for care.

More information

For more detailed information about the Act, visit the GOV UK website:

Changes for carers

Changes to the way care and support are provided in England mean that carers may be able to get support so that they can look after their own wellbeing while continuing their caring role.

Caring for someone can mean many different things such as providing support to a relative, partner, friend or neighbour, such as helping with their washing, dressing or eating, taking them to regular appointments or keeping them company.

Carers’ assessments

To help determine a person’s support needs, an assessment must be carried out. A carer’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of the assessment, which could result in a carer receiving information about local support groups, practical support such as respite care, or a payment to spend on the things that make it easier to carry on caring.

You can now complete your assessment online from our carers' website at

Carers’ grants

Carers’ grants have been replaced by a more comprehensive assessment of a carer’s needs. This may lead to a support plan, which could include a payment, to help a person maintain their wellbeing while continuing their caring role.

Information and advice for carers

All carers are entitled to information about ways they can maintain their wellbeing while continuing their caring role.

Carers Oxfordshire has a wealth of information about support services for carers in Oxfordshire. Browse our website  or  contact us to find out more.