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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Council rejects option to charge carers for extra support

 

Cheshire East Council has rejected the option to charge carers for any extra support services they need.

People caring for relatives and friends, will not be charged even though the Council is free to do so under the new Care Act, 2014.

The new legislation, which comes into effect on April 1, introduces a wide range of changes to the provision and funding of care, including the option for local authorities to charge for support services for carers.

But Cheshire East Council has chosen not to make a charge and the Council will absorb the cost instead.

Under the Act, carers will be able to receive the support they need to help them to be effective carers and make their task easier.

An assessment would identify their needs and, if they meet the new national eligibility criteria, then their local authority will provide a personal budget for them to arrange the support required to help them.

Cheshire East will also ensure carers have the information and advice they need to be better supported in their caring role.

Cheshire East Council Leader, Councillor Michael Jones said: “Cheshire East strongly supports the principles of the new legislation as we are committed to improving the well-being of all our service users and carers.

“We recognise that so many carers work selflessly to provide care and support for others and there will come a time when they may need support too.

“We believe that carers should have equal rights to access support and, following an assessment of their needs, should not be charged for the support they require.

“Our decision not to apply charges to our carers for services to meet their eligible needs is a demonstration of how we are putting the needs of our residents first and investing in support for older people, the frail and vulnerable.”

The Care Act 2014 will see the biggest change to social policy for a generation. The Act brings together and simplifies previous legislation, regulations and guidance relating to adult social care. Local authorities are required to revise and introduce new policies to ensure they are fully Care Act compliant before April 1, 2015.

Cheshire East strongly supports the principles of placing carers at the forefront in this new piece of legislation.

Cllr Janet Clowes, Cabinet member in charge of care and health in the community, said: “We rise to the challenges presented to us and all local authorities by this new legislation.

“We will also ensure that carers are not ignored and receive all the support that will enable them to fulfil their caring role.”

She told the Council Cabinet meeting, which approved the recommendation: “I would like to thank the teams in adult social care who have worked diligently over the past year. This is phase one and there is another phase of the Care Act to come next year.”

For more information about the Act and how Cheshire East intends to implement its requirements, please visit http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/social_care_and_heal

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