It is just over one year since the Care Act was implemented throughout England. the Care Act was the biggest overhaul of social care legislation for 60 years, its introduction replaced a number of existing healthcare acts, including the National Assistance Act 1948, the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (but only for adults) and the NHS and community Care Act 1990.
The Care Act set out to re-establish the rights of both those needing care and their carers, but while many are quick to challenge its success, with a number of local authorities recently being reported in the media as failing to comply with the new guidance, few acknowledge the good work achieved by the act in such a relatively short space of time.
For me, the biggest change from the Care Act is the shift in the way we work with those needing care and support. The principal of wellbeing has been added as a core element of this legislation and for the first time individuals needing care and their carers have been put at the centre of the process.
Another huge, and positive step forward, came with the introduction of the nine principles, which are at the very heart of the Care Act, and for the first time, in 2015, we saw personal dignity of the client rightly prioritised.
Ageing need not be a negative process, with the right planning, getting older can be a hugely positive experience. We need to move to promote a society, which addresses ageing in a positive way. By working with key players across a wide range of sectors from government, healthcare professionals and charities, we need to work together to continue to champion the Care Act long after its first anniversary.
Kate Sheehan is one of the UK’s leading Occu-pational Therapists, she also works alongside Repose Furniture Ltd as the company’s Expert Healthcare Advisor.