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The Care Act 2014: how do you know your council is successfully embedding the Care Act?

Ensure that your council is embedding the principles and overarching objectives of the social care reforms in the culture and behaviours of the local health and care
workforce, not just implementing the process and structural changes spelled out in the Care Act. Across your council’s policies and programmes the emphasis should be on:

• promoting the general wellbeing of your residents
• preventing the development of ill health and social care needs
• delaying people’s need for personal care services by enabling them to live independently for as long as possible
• a person-centred approach, focusing on the needs of the individual rather than the demands of the service.

Ensure you have a market shaping strategy and build relationships with service providers to promote diversity and quality in the local care market. You should have a programme of proactive and ongoing activity with providers to develop the local market to meet current and future needs, utilising new service models such as those described in the standards framework, ‘Commissioning for Better Outcomes’, where appropriate. Ensure that your council has a comprehensive prevention strategy and offer for its citizens, drawing on the best evidence of what works to prevent, delay and reduce social care needs. Help mitigate pressures on social care services by working in cooperation with other agencies around preventative services and by supporting carers in the same way as those with care and support needs.

Ensure that the council’s social care workforce strategy, including learning and development arrangements, has taken account of the changes in roles, processes,
entitlements and cultural change required to implement the Act. Work with health and care partners, as well as employment and learning providers, to ensure that the local workforce can meet your needs now and in the future. Ensure that your council’s information and advice strategy is actively implemented, working in partnership with local Healthwatch, health partners, the community and voluntary sector and the whole council. Engage proactively with self-funders and signpost to high quality financial information and advice as part of your universal offer. Ensure adequate provision of advocacy for those who are eligible and require assistance during assessment, care planning and review.

Draw upon the support available through the national Care Act and Better Care Fund (BCF) support teams, and regional Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) infrastructure to help your council and partners make social care provision in your area more resilient, integrated and personcentred.