The Government last night (Tuesday 31st March) published guidance for local authorities on how they should use the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020.
The new Care Act easements mean that 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.
Should local authorities choose to “switch on” these easements, there will also be a reduction in the number of carer support plans, and care and support plans for those in need of care, being carried out.
Families won’t have to undergo financial assessments when requesting care during this period, but the assessments and charges can be back-dated.