Community Care reports on the accessibility of community living for disabled people. Yogi Amin and Irwin Mitchell revise the core principles of the Care Act.
As per Section 2 of the Care Act 2014, councils are responsible for providing or arranging any facility, service or resource that helps care and supports needs; funding is ensured from government to carry out these duties. Being aware of rights defended under the Care Act and exercising these rights, disabled people can get assistance in accessing the community.
The authors list the Care Act duties as follows:
- Duty to assess: councils have to determine all individual needs and acknowledge decisions in writing.
- Duty to meet unmet eligible needs: this must be ensured regardless of funds’ availability. Eligible needs involve those related to overall wellbeing and to mental and physical illness.
The authors stress that councils cannot differentiate between eligible needs as they must consider all eligible needs as equal. They also highlight the possibility of any councils to be legally challenged when declining an eligible need. Despite proposed cuts in the budget, it is crucial to understand and promote the legal rights of disabled people protected by the Care Act.