Care Act 2014 – What does it mean in practice?

Most of the Care Act 2014 came into force on 1 April 2015. It is the largest overhaul of social care law in 60 years, and abolishes lots of the older legislation, to consolidate the majority of law on adult social care into one place.

The fundamental approach to social care, contained in the Care Act, remains intact – a local authority must assess individuals’ needs, determine the support necessary to meet those needs, and then make appropriate services/support available for those needs. There should be national approach to eligibility (rather than a “postcode lottery”).

There are however a number of key changes. There is a new overarching principle of promotion of the person’s “well-being”, which is defined very widely indeed and goes far beyond clinical health. This principle alone appears to potentially increase an individual’s entitlement to social care services and support.

In addition, there is also more emphasis on the needs of carers, on prevention of needs arising, on continuity of care when moving between areas, on transition of care between children and adult services, and on personalisation and involving the fully-informed individual in planning their care.

If you or somebody you know are receiving community care services and require advice as to the way in which the Care Act may impact on you then please feel free to contact Martin Bridger or a member of our specialist Community Care Team on 0115 9503231 or email