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Community Care legislation

In April 2015 the Care Act 2014 will replace many of the existing pieces of legislation which are currently used to shape how social care is arranged in Britain. The intention is that the Care Act will make it easier for the public to understand why things happen in a particular way.

At the moment local councils have to follow various pieces of legislation when working with older people, people with physical health problems and disabilities, people with learning disabilities, people with mental health problems, and those who look after such people.

Some of this legislation is described on other pages in this section (see left-hand menu) or in other areas of this site.

On this page we explain the main legislation relating to a person's right to have an assessment from a council, and to the services which a council may then provide:-

Section 21(1) - describes a duty for local authorities to provide residential accommodation to some adults over 18 years who through age, illness, disability or any other circumstances are in need to care and attention which would otherwise be unavailable to them.

Section 29 - describes a duty for local authorities to provide social work advice and support service and facilities for:

  • Rehabilitation and adjustment to disability
  • Occupational, social, cultural and recreational activities

Section 29(1) - defines a 'disabled person'

Section 1 - describes a duty for local authorities to provide information about relevant services.

Section 2(1) - sets out the range of services a local authority should provide to meet the needs of 'disabled people' including practical help in the home; providing meals; access to recreational facilities outside the home; help to take advantage of educational facilities; and help with work for adaptations to the home.

Section 47(1) - describes the duty of a local authority to carry out an assessment of need for community care services where a person appears to be someone for whom community care services could be provided, AND a person's circumstances may need the provision of some community care services.

Section 47(2) - if the Section 47(1) assessment identifies a person as being disabled, that person has additional rights as set out in Section 47(2) which requires local authorities to decide as to the services which the person may require

The NHS website provides more detail on this important piece of legislation.

Describes a duty for local authorities to offer cash payments for any community care services to all individuals to meet assessed eligible needs of disabled people aged 16 or over or who have parental responsibility for a disabled child or who is a carer aged 16 or over. Individuals must have been assessed as being willing and able to manage Direct Payments (either alone or with support).

Describes a duty for local authorities to make payments to NHS bodies where a persons discharge from hospital is delayed because care services or services to carers have not been provided. 
Requires NHS Hospitals to notify Local Authorities of anyone who is likely to need community care services when they are discharged from hospital.

For more information on how to request an assessment from your local council click here.

Last updated: 28/07/2021