Father caring for son

Carers Trust's new report Care Act for carers: One year on (PDF, 574KB) showed that there are some carers who are getting good support under the Care Act, as well as some examples of good practice (PDF, 270KB).

“It is the only time in the year when I am asked about me… Having that opportunity and someone who understands, without me explaining has meant something.” Carer

The report showed that there is reason to be optimistic about the potential of the Act, particularly if national and local government, and the NHS, work together to invest in the support needed to ensure the legal rights of carers are fully introduced.

This includes making sure that all social workers and assessors are appropriately trained, and able to reflect the wellbeing principle in assessments. For full recommendations, see p22 of the report.

  • 21% of all respondents said that things had changed for the better under the Care Act.
  • 31% of carers told us that they had had an assessment, of which the quality of assessments was largely good.
  • 74% of these were face-to-face assessments.
  • 52% of these carers felt that the assessor was "knowledgeable".
  • 26% had received a letter and a support plan after the assessment.
  • 34% found their assessment helpful.

What needs to improve for carers

The report also showed what needs to improve. Too many carers were unaware of their rights. Practitioners need to understand that a carer's right to support is independent of the person they care for. Young carers and parent carers need to be properly supported at transition and during assessment.

NHS and local authorities need to strengthen the way they work together too. Local authorities need support to implement prevention, personalisation and market-shaping for carers. We did not hear from enough non-White carers to know how the Care Act is working for all carers in society.

We are concerned about other groups of carers, for example, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people who are also carers.

“I have no idea; I know for me nothing has changed. I am doing the same exhausting job of caring for my son as I always have” Carer

  • 69% of carers responding to our survey had not noticed a difference since its introduction
  • 65% of carers had not had an assessment since the introduction of the Act
  • 23% of the carers who had had an assessment felt that their assessor was "not knowledgeable".
  • 37% had not received a letter or a support plan after assessment
  • 34% of carers felt the assessment was "not helpful".

Background

Carers Trust asked the former minister for care services, the Rt Hon Prof Paul Burstow, to chair a review of how the Care Act 2014 is working for carers one year on from the implementation of the Act. The Act came into force on 1 April 2015, and applies to England.

The Care Act gives unpaid carers important new rights and for the first time places carers rights on the same level as those of then people they care for: The Care Act it's history, and carers (PDF, 235KB).

Paul worked with a Panel and Advisers and the issues the Commission considered are included in the Terms of Reference.

The Commission received written submissions from carers and those who support them (PDF, 315KB) from February to March 2016, heard oral evidence (PDF, 185KB) in April 2016, and reported on its findings in July 2016, which includes the methodology and evidence (PDF, 180KB).

To find out more, please email Carers Trust's policy team policy@carers.org  

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