CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Change in care culture

PUBLISHED: 12:13 14 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:18 14 July 2015

Care is now more in the hands of individuals

Care is now more in the hands of individuals


The new Care Act has put the focus on personal responsibilty for adult care. Susan Glenholme, partner at Hertfordshire law firm Debenhams Ottaway, gives a guide to the changes

The Care Act 2014 has reformed the law on adult care. The aim is to put people in control of their own care and support and give carers important new rights.

The Act also places new obligations on local authorities about how they carry out assessments and what people can expect. Central to the assessment process is the ‘wellbeing principle’ which means that the focus in taking any decision should be a person’s wellbeing and independence.

If you or a loved one requires care, you should request an assessment from your local council, regardless of your ability to pay for the care you may need. All councils will use the new national eligibility criteria to make their decision about granting help. These criteria include nutrition, hygiene and safety at home. If you don’t meet the criteria, the council should provide information about how to arrange and pay for your own care. This might be, for example, finding someone to help with housework. The aim is that those who need care do not deteriorate to crisis point before being assessed.

The new law also means that carers are entitled to a carer’s assessment, where the carer appears to have a need for support. This will look at what the carer wants from life, such as managing the existing care, going to work or doing more socially. The focus is adult carers, but there is provision to consider young carers too.

From April 2016, the government is capping care costs after the age of 65. The cap will be £72,000. Once a person’s eligible needs are worked out, the local authority will calculate a personal budget. This will confirm what amount the local authority thinks is sufficient to meet the individual’s needs. Then there will be a financial assessment in relation to whether the person will need to contribute and if so, how much.

Although the care cap is an attempt to limit the costs of care, many people could still end up paying out much more than the £72,000 limit.

The average cost of a care home place in England is £574 per week, or nearly £30,000 per year. However, £230 of the weekly cost is deemed to be for normal living costs, such as a room, heating and food. That works out at nearly £12,000 per year but there would be at least some of the same costs to live in your own home. The living costs element continues even when the care cap has been reached.

Even if a person’s care home place spending counts towards the care cap, this is only at the rate the council would pay for the place. Many care homes charge people who are paying for their own care more, sometimes twice as much, to cover the true cost of the care.

For example, if a person is charged £1,000 per week but the council’s rate would be £730, then the living costs of £230 need to be deducted from the £730, giving a figure of £500. Only £500 per week will count towards the care cap, so by the time the person reaches the £72,000 cap, he or she will have actually paid out £144,000.

The BBC’s online Care Calculator is a practical tool for anyone wanting further information, but it does not replace advice from a qualified legal or financial professional.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

18 minutes ago

In the latest in her series throughout 2018 profiling inspirational women, KATE HASKELL talks to England Women’s Cricket Captain, Heather Knight

Read more
27 minutes ago

Actor Tom Burke talks to JUDI SPIERS about his production of Don Carlos staged by his own theatre company Ara, in association with Exeter’s Northcott Theatre

Read more
46 minutes ago

If you have been lucky enough to be a homeowner for any significant length of time then you would certainly have been aware of how the value of your property has increased over the years

Read more

Andrew Griffiths meets Jim Dixon, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Peak District National Park.

Read more

Hale residents and business-owners Hanna Miraftab and Martin Kinsella are the newest additions to hit TV show Real Housewives of Cheshire

Read more
Yesterday, 15:01

Harnessing the power of social media, charity awards and dreaming up new projects - it’s all in a day’s work for Gloucestershire children’s charity Pied Piper and its corporate supporters

Read more
Yesterday, 12:27

The Cotswolds’ very own Prince of Wales turns 70 this month, so we looked back on some of the highlights of his life and career, and wondered what birthday pressies we would buy for the man who has the world at his feet

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Yesterday, 00:00

Lancashire actor Louis Emerick is preparing to make his third stage appearance as Captain Hook. He talks about childhood, Christmas and his new pantomime

Read more
Mon, 14:32

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search