Provisions set out in the Coronavirus Act 2020 to relax provisions for social care have finally been removed more than four months after the government’s decision to do so.
These allowed councils to suspend some of their duties under the Care Act 2014 including the requirement to assess needs, carry out financial assessments and provide support plans.
The measures introduced in March 2020, were designed to enable councils to respond if a spike in demand combined with a reduction in their available workforce, meant they were unable to fulfil their duties.
The relaxations were strongly criticised as undermining people’s entitlements to care and although the Government announced they would end this from March this year it has taken months for the necessary legislation to be passed by Parliament.
Whatever the legal position, the reality is that many local authorities continue to operate at reduced capacity due to Covid with the delivery of need assessments being particularly disrupted and delayed.
We speak to lots of people who have had to wait for assessment as councils face staff shortages and increased demand, after many people delayed making a request during the height of lockdown.