A carer is someone who helps another person, usually a relative or friend, in their day-to-day life. This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally or through a voluntary organization.
The Care Act 2014 sets out careers’ legal rights to assessment and support. It came into force in April 2015.
The Care Act relates mostly to adult careers – people aged 18 and over who are caring for another adult. This is because young careers (aged under 18) and adults who care for disabled children can be assessed and supported under children’s law.
However, regulations under the Act allow the government to make rules about looking at family circumstances when assessing an adult’s need for care, which means, for example, making sure the position of a young carer within a family is not overlooked.
The Act also contains new rules about working with young careers or adult careers of disabled children to plan an effective and timely move to adult care and support.
What does the Care Act do?
Previously, carers didn’t have a legal right to receive support, although local authorities could provide support at their discretion. This meant that the ability to have an assessment and access a range of support varied depending on where you lived.
The Care Act gives local authorities a responsibility to assess a carer’s need for support, where the carer appears to have such needs. This replaced the law which said the carer must be providing “a substantial amount of care on a regular basis” to qualify for an assessment.
This means more carers are now able to have an assessment. The local authority will assess whether the carer has needs and what those needs may be. This assessment will consider the impact of caring on the carer.
It will also consider the things a carer wants to achieve in their own day-to-day life. It must also consider other important issues, such as whether the carer is able or willing to carry on caring, whether they work or want to work, and whether they want to study or do more socially.
If both the carer and the person they care for agree, a combined assessment of both their needs can be undertaken.
I’m a carer. Am I eligible for support?
When the carer’s assessmentis complete, the local authority must decide whether the carer’s needs are eligible for support from the local authority. This approach is similar to that used for adults with care and support needs.
In the case of carers, eligibility depends on the carer’s situation. The carer will be entitled to support if:
they are assessed as having needs that meet the eligibility criteria
the person they care for lives in the local authority area (which means their established home is in that local authority area)
If there is a charge (as there sometimes may be, as explained below), it has to be accepted by the carer (or the adult being cared for, if it falls to them).
Care Provided by the Red Practice
Someone caring for a spouse or elderly relative or friend often does so out of love and sense of duty. This sometimes happens regardless of the impact on their own lives.
Registering as a carer can help staff and clinicians understand your extra needs in order to support and sign post you appropriately.
It is important that as a carer you are aware of some benefits available to you.
E.g. annual flu vaccine, Respite care
Action for Carers together with several charities provides support and training to Carers – See links below
There are two proven methods of identification:
· Self-identification and
· Pro-active Practice identification.
The Practice undertakes the following activities as part of each method:
The Practice has a dedicated area in the waiting room for Carers and Young Carers to find contact details for support. Information on support organisations and Action for Carers Surrey is displayed, as is a poster requesting Carers to contact the Practice to provide details of their caring responsibilities
There is also a direct link to access: Action for Carers | Supporting carers of all ages across Surrey
Patients can complete a carers form via our website – Once completed and submitted to the practice it will be processed.
Once the practice receives your completed form, it will update your name on their Carers Register:
The Practice keeps an active register of patients and will send you messages to offer you support where possible. Please note you will receive annual messages to check you are still a carer. We ask you respond promptly to all messages from the Practice.
Useful Contact Information
For support for over 18s please contact the Action for Carers Surrey:
- Action for Carers | Supporting carers of all ages across Surrey
- Telephone: 03030401234
- Text: 07714 075993
- Email: CarerSupport@actionforcarers.org.uk
For support for Under 18’s contact Action for Young Carers Surrey:
Surrey Young Carers is an organisation that supports young carers to get the information and advice they need. They can give you someone to talk to and give you opportunities to have fun and make new friends with young people in similar circumstances.