7 Preventing needs for care and support
This clause places a duty on local authorities to take steps, including making services available, which are aimed at preventing, delaying or reducing adults’ needs for care and support. This duty is intended to reflect that imposed on the local authority by section 2B of the NHS Act 2006 (public health responsibilities), and NHS responsibilities in relation to recovery from illness, to allow organisations to work together to promote the health and well-being of the local population.
These duties may be discharged, in part, through their functions to undertake Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Health and Well-being Strategies under sections 116, 116A and 116B of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. These place duties on the local authority and clinical commissioning group to prepare an assessment of the current and future health and social care needs of local people, which could be met by either the local authority, clinical commissioning group or the NHS Commissioning Board, and to prepare a strategy for meeting those needs.
(1) A local authority must provide or arrange for the provision of services, facilities or resources, or take other steps, which it considers will—
(a) contribute towards preventing or delaying the development of needs for care and support by adults in its area, or
(b) reduce the needs for care and support of adults in its area who have such needs.
(2) In exercising that duty, a local authority must have regard to—
(a) the importance of identifying the services, facilities and resources already available in the authority’s area and the extent to which the authority could involve or make use of them in exercising that duty;
(b) the importance of identifying adults in the authority’s area with needs for care and support which are not being met (by the authority or otherwise).
(3) Regulations may make provision for enabling a local authority to impose a charge for providing or arranging for the provision of services, facilities or resources, or for taking other steps, under this section.
(4) A charge imposed under regulations made under subsection (3) may cover only the cost that the local authority incurs in providing or arranging for the provision of the service, facility or resource or for taking the other step.
(5) A local authority may exercise the duty under subsection (1) jointly with one or more other local authorities in relation to the authorities’ combined area; and where they do so—
(a) references in this section to a local authority are to be read as references to the authorities acting jointly, and
(b) references in this section to a local authority’s area are to be read as references to the combined area.
(6) Sections 20 (exception for persons subject to immigration control), 21 (exception for provision of health services) and 22 (exception for provision of housing etc.) apply in relation to the duty under subsection (1), but with the modifications set out in those sections.