Carers will no longer be treated as an extension of the person they are caring for. They will have a right to an assessment to decide if they need support. The main difference from the current rules is that carers won’t have to be providing a substantial amount of care regularly to be entitled to an assessment.
If they are eligible for support for particular needs, carers will have a legal right to receive state-funded support for those needs, just like the people they care for. This will give carers much better access to support to help them balance their caring roles and responsibilities. These changes are set out in the draft Care and Support Bill, so they will come into effect when this Bill becomes law.
Carers who are eligible for support will be legally entitled to a personal budget, just like the people they care for. This means they will get a specific amount of money to spend on care and support and will be able to choose how they spend it. By 2013, everyone needing state-funded care should be offered a personal budget as part of their care and support plan, preferably as a direct payment.
We will make sure carers have much better, clearer information to help them make more informed, appropriate choices about care for themselves and the people they care for. From 2013 there will be 1 website, nhs.uk, bringing together information on the NHS, social care and public health in 1 place for the first time.
The draft Bill will also require local authorities to provide an information and advice service on care and support, focusing on helping people to understand how the system works, what services are available locally, and how to access the services they need now and in the future.
To improve the quality of care and help people choose between different providers, every registered social care provider will have a ‘quality profile’ on nhs.uk. This provides a place where people can leave feedback on their experiences of a provider and see how different providers compare.
To help people stay active and independent in their community, we will encourage the development of time sharing schemes that help people share their time, talents and skills with others locally. This will also aim to help people who use care – and their carers – feel less isolated.
We will work with commissioners, care providers, people who use services and carers to stop local authorities from commissioning care visits that are too short.
See the Supporting carers page.