New act means changes to care and support system

Care and support will be more consistent across the country following this week’s changes to England’s care and support system, and Wiltshire Council is supporting people and carers through a new health and social care website.

The Care Act will be introduced gradually now until 1 April 2016 and has been described as the most significant reform in social care for more than 60 years. Anyone who receives care and support, or supports someone as a carer, could benefit from the changes.

Wiltshire Council have set up a new website with a host of information about health and social care which can be found at

The Care Act is being introduced to put people and their carers at the heart of the services they receive and give them more choice, control and the opportunity to personalise their care package. It also give carers the same rights as people who receive care. Any decisions about care and support will take into consideration people’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, with a focus on supporting people to stay healthy and remain independent for longer.

At the moment there is no limit to what care and support can cost an individual which can result in people with high care needs having to pay expensive bills. However, from April 2016 a cap on care costs will be introduced which means no one will have to pay more than £72,000 towards the cost of eligible care and support needs in their lifetime. This will apply to people funding their own care and support as well as those helped by the council. Later this year the council will start to carry out assessments for people wanting to count the cost of their care towards the care cap.

Wiltshire Council corporate director, Maggie Rae said: “Many of the principles of the Care Act, such as giving people more choice and control on the care they receive, already form the backbone of our Better Care Plan so we are ready and prepared to introduce these changes over the next year.

“The Care Act supports our vision of putting people at the heart of health and social care services and ensures carers also get the support they need to carry out their vital role as well as possible.

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for adult social care, Keith Humphries said: “The importance of making sure your loved ones get the care and support they need cannot be emphasised enough and these changes, alongside the good work we already do here in Wiltshire, will help those who receive care and those providing it.

“We will support people through this transition and ensure they have all the help and information they need.”

Further information about the Care Act, including FAQs and factsheets can also be found at

If there is anyone supporting someone in a caring role they should contact Carers Support Wiltshire to see what support they may be able to offer them. People should visit for more information.