It is a benefit of the modern age of open government and online engagement that we are able to better understand, anticipate and adapt to the concerns and circumstances of those we seek to help and support.
Our recently published response to the consultation on the Care Act Part 1 regulations and guidance demonstrates this continuing commitment to seek the views of those affected by or working with sometimes complex legislative frameworks. Ultimately, these exercises are about reducing uncertainty and targeting information and support where it’s needed.
A case in point: after extensive engagement with local authorities on the estimated cost of implementing the Care Act in 2015/16, we will be re-prioritising funding to support their efforts.
Now the guidance has been published, commissioners and providers of care have the certainty they need to continue their implementation plans for April 2015.
We do of course recognise that local councils are under financial pressure, and we have worked closely with them over the summer to help them understand the costs they can expect, and to refine our own estimates. Based on their feedback, we’ve reprioritised funding to create a new grant to help manage the important new rights for carers and the broader implementation of the Act.
We are also working with partners including Skills for Care, Think Local Act Personal and the Social Care Institute for Excellence to develop a range of materials to support local authorities and care providers in their arrangements. Publication of these has begun and will continue throughout the autumn and winter.
More broadly, every area will be supported by the Government, Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services to bring these changes in from next April.
The consultation may be over – and the response published – but the work continues to make Care Act implementation as effective and beneficial as possible. I look forward to further discussion with the sector in the weeks and months ahead.