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Department of Health

Care Act 2014: How should local authorities deliver the care and support reforms? Please give us your views


Preventing, reducing and delaying needs

The Act requires local authorities to ensure the provision or arrangement of services, facilities or resources to help prevent, delay or reduce the development of needs for care and support.

The prevention duty extends to all people in a local authority’s area, including carers, regardless of whether they have needs for care and support, or whether someone has had a needs or carer’s assessment.

The draft guidance on preventing, reducing and delaying needs covers:

  • the definition of ‘prevention’ and different approaches to preventing needs
  • how local authorities should go about developing local approaches to preventing, reducing and delaying need
  • identifying those who may benefit from specific preventative services
  • rules on charging for preventative services

Read Factsheet 1: prevention, information and market shaping

The draft guidance describes prevention in order to illustrate the provisions in section 2 of the Care Act which refer to preventing, reducing or delaying the needs for care and support.

The intention of this approach is not to narrow a local authority’s vision for prevention or the scope of its prevention services, rather it is intended to provide clarity about the range of preventative interventions, the people who may benefit and the circumstances in which a person may benefit.

A key element of the preventative approach envisaged by the Act is for the local authority to support the person to make the most of the resources available to them in their community – for instance, local support networks or voluntary services – as well as to build and develop their own strengths and capabilities. This should apply whatever needs the person has.

The Act creates a legal basis for a wide range of preventative approaches, which are referred to as ‘services, facilities or resources’. There is flexibility about how a local authority carries out its duty on prevention and the draft guidance lists a number of services, facilities or resources. The list is not exhaustive.

Question 3: Is the description of prevention as primary, secondary or tertiary, a helpful illustration of who may benefit from preventative interventions, when and what those interventions may be?

Read: guidance on preventing, reducing and delaying needs the Care and Support (Preventing Needs for Care and Support) Regulations 2014 Back to preventing, reducing and delaying needs

Question 4: Is the list of examples of preventative ‘services, facilities or resources’ helpful? What else should be included?

Read: guidance on preventing, reducing and delaying needs The Care and Support (Preventing Needs for Care and Support) Regulations 2014 Back to preventing, reducing and delaying needs

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