Woman in wheelchair smiling at camera

The Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 aims to ensure that disabled people and carers in the UK receive the support they need, including access to respite.

What is the purpose of the Care Act?

The Care Act helps to improve people’s independence and wellbeing. It makes clear that local authorities must provide or arrange services that help prevent people developing needs for care and support or delay people deteriorating such that they would need ongoing care and support.

Department of Health and Social Care

Key points:

  • Improve wellbeing for carers and those they support
  • For local authorities to provide information on the range of care and support services available
  • Consistent approach to individual entitlement to public care and support
  • Work with people to create personal care and support plans, tailored to their individual needs
  • Protections for carers, including the responsibility to assess carers’ needs for support

For more information and useful fact sheets, visit the Department of Health Social Care’s website.

What does the Care Act currently say about respite?

Under the Care Act, a carer’s assessment is currently the only way of providing statutory access to respite.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care, this assessment will consider the impact of caring on the carer, including what things a carer wants to achieve in their own day-to-day life, whether the carer is able or willing to carry on caring, whether they work or want to work, and whether they want to study or do more socially.

Eligibility for support following a carer’s assessment

A carer will have eligible needs if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They provide necessary care and support to someone.
  • Their physical or mental health is affected or at risk of deteriorating.
  • They are unable to achieve any of the specified outcomes.
  • There is a significant impact on their wellbeing as a result.

If eligible, the Local Authority must agree a support plan, which describes how the carer’s needs will be met.

Respite is one option for carers to take a break

There is currently no specific statutory provision for respite. However, if a carer says to the local authority they are no longer willing and able to provide support or they physically cannot go on without a break, then the Local Authority must step in.

Because Local Authorities are only stepping in when there is a real breakdown in a caring relationship, there is a growing number of carers reaching breaking point, which is fuelling a respite crisis.

BBC North West coverage of GMAB

How are Revitalise responding to the respite crisis?

Revitalise campaign to promote the urgent need for more to be done to ensure that every carer and disabled person can take the breaks that they need. Our Give me a break Campaign aims to raise awareness of the crisis and demand more statutory protections for respite, to prevent burnout and breakdown.

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Are you in need of a break?

Revitalise provide respite holidays with 24-hour care from our two, fully-accessible holiday centres in Southport and Chigwell, Essex. Learn more about our Respite Holidays by clicking the button below.

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