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BLOG: Is progress being made on the implementation of the Care Act?

BASW Professional Officer Joe Godden reflects on the initial stages of Care Act implementation.

Media coverage of adult social care legislation is usually noticeable by its absence, but the introduction of the Care Act has attracted quite a bit of attention. The recent 'surprise' announcement of the postponement until 2020 of the Care Cap did attract a range of media coverage including BBC News, the Telegraph, the Times, the Financial Times and the Daily Mail.

Some councils and ADASS (association of directors of adult social services in England) have been proactively campaigning about resource problems. Wokingham and West Berkshire are challenging the Government in the courts over funding levels to implement the Care Act. BASW conducted a survey of members in June and found about a third of respondents said the training they had received was not adequate.

However, at the last BASW seminar on the Care Act in Manchester, quite a few delegates reported that things had improved recently in terms of training and systems. Some reported being given time and encouragement to discuss cases in both team and allocation meetings in order to develop consistency and understanding of eligibility criteria. This was welcomed by delegates and is evidence of good practice. But discussion among delegates also indicated that there were concerns about consistency between local authorities and what was needed was an opportunity to share good practice across employers. Online training was seen as good, but only if part of wider learning. Similarly, SCIE’s information and guidance was welcomed and seen as helpful.

We have had reports that the Act has provided greater clarity on a range of issues, from Safeguarding to information and advice. We have also heard there are considerable problems in terms of an increase in volume of work and raised expectations. This is in addition to a massive increase in Mental Capacity Act work.

Another BASW seminar is being held on September 29th in London.  In order to prepare for the seminar and to help BASW contribute to a position statement on the implementation of the Act, we’re asking members who work in adult services to share their views on how the Care Act implementation is going. If you would like to comment or have a discussion, please email england@basw.co.uk by August 31.