Care Act

How local services may change because of Coronavirus and how it may impact you

The Care Act Easements

The Coronavirus Act 2020 is a new law which has been written to help councils during the coronavirus pandemic.

It says that councils can decide not to follow some parts of the Care Act. The Care Act is the law about care and support for adults.

Before councils can stop using the Care Act they have to follow government guidance called “Care Act easements.”

The easements took legal effect on 31 March 2020 and will be in place for a period of two years (reviewed in Parliament every six months). Southend-on-Sea City will only implement them if it is essential in order to maintain the highest possible level of services during the COVID-19 outbreak.

What changes might happen?

The main areas that might trigger requirements for temporary changes to statutory duties under the Care Act 2014 include new or increased social care demand, inadequate numbers of social workers, inadequate numbers of direct care staff and/ or inadequate nursing or residential care capacity.

If we don’t have enough social workers, we might have to change how we work. This may mean social workers may stop:

  • carrying out detailed assessments, however light touch assessments would continue
  • reviewing your support
  • doing financial assessments

We will still make sure we think about your human rights and make sure you are safe and we will tell you if you may need to pay towards your care after the crisis is over

There may be more people who need support because of the virus but not enough carers to support everyone. This means that we might have to help only those people who need it the most. We will make sure we think about your human rights and make sure you are safe.

Before we make any changes

Before changes can happen, the council would need to explain why we have made the decision. This would involve the Executive Director of Adults and Communities, the Principal Social Worker and others in the council recording their decision.

They would need to talk to others about the decision, like Councillors and people who work in health, making sure they have thought about the impact on you and others who have care and support.

What won’t change?

  • your human rights
  • the wellbeing duty under the Care Act
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) - if you live in a care home or are in hospital
  • The Mental Capacity Act
  • The Equality Act

We hope that we don’t have to use this guidance. We will do everything we can to make sure we only make changes if we really have to.

If we have to make changes, we will check every day to see if they are still needed. If we think we can go back to normal we would stop the changes straight away.

Covid-19 Implementation of Care Act Easements under the Coronavirus Act 2020 report is available to be downloaded.

Contact Adult Social Care

Telephone: 01702 215008

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