Families and members of the public

The focus of care and support will be promoting people’s wellbeing and independence.

We want to help people stay active and independent in their community, and will encourage the development of time sharing schemes that help volunteers to share their time, talents and skills with others in their community. These schemes will make it easier for members of the public with time to help people in their community.

We will make sure people have much better, clearer information to help them make choices about a family member’s care. 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 or their family member need now and in the future. 

In the past, some people have found it hard to work out what they or their family members are entitled to and there have been different rules for different services. Instead there will be a single route people will go through to work out what care and support they, or their family member, are entitled to. 

We will do more to support families, for instance by being clear that local authorities can carry out assessments for different family members at the same time. At one of the most important pressure points – the transition from children’s to adults’ services – we will provide a new right to request an assessment before a child turns 18, as well as a new legal protection to make sure children’s services are not stopped before adult care and support is in place.

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