Corona Virus Act 2020 provisions / implications for Care Act 2020
• These provisions are temporary, and should be used only where local authorities are not able to comply with duties as under the Care Act 2014. Where local authorities have to re-prioritise their resources to respond to coronavirus, their duty to carry out full needs assessments of unpaid carers, and those needing care, does not apply if their workforce is significantly depleted, or the demand on social care increases to an extent that it is no longer reasonable practicable for the local authority to comply with its Care Act duties.
• Local Authorities will still need to meet needs. A failure to do so will be a breach in an individual’s human rights needs under the European Convention of Human Rights. They will be expected to observe the Ethical Framework for Social Care , and should use the principles of personalisation and co-production.
• In recognition of how care varies across Local Authorities, a decision to use this new guidance when and if overstretched, should be agreed by the Director of Adult Social Services with the Principal Social Worker. The Health and Wellbeing Board should be informed.
• The powers in the new Coronavirus Act mean:
o Local Authorities will not need to undertake detailed assessments of people’s care and support needs; however, will need to respond to requests for care as quickly as possible, make a general assessment, and take into account families/carers.
o Will not need to undertake financial assessments in compliance with pre-amendment Care Act requirements. LAs will be able to charge retrospectively, “subject to giving reasonable information in advance about this.”
o Will not need to prepare/review care and support plans as under pre-amendment Care Act requirements. Must, however, carry out person-centred and proportionate care, providing information to those concerned.
o Duties on local authorities will be replaced by a power to meet needs.
• However, there are important safeguards written into the guidance that Local Authorities and others need to be aware of:
o Some sort of assessment must take place – it does not entirely remove the requirement.
o Services cannot be reduced without involving the person needing care and the carer.
o There must be a clear audit trail of decision-making, including recording if someone would have had a full assessment.
o Recognition that the prevention duty has not been relaxed which is important in the context of decision-making for carers.
• Recognition that charging carers for services can be counter-productive, restating Government’s position.
From Carers UK