Today I am publishing a consultation on draft regulations and statutory guidance to introduce the cap on care costs system that will complete the historic reforms set out in the Care Act. For the first time ever, the cap will protect people from the risk of catastrophic care costs and offer more people means tested financial support towards the costs of their care. Also included in this consultation are policy proposals for a new system of appeals that will enable people to challenge certain decisions made by local authorities under the Care Act.
This consultation continues the collaborative approach we have taken throughout the care and support reform programme and seeks views on the elements of the reforms that are due to come into force in April 2016.
Part one of the consultation focuses on funding reform and seeks views on draft regulations and guidance that will introduce the cap on care costs and extend access to means-tested financial support. The draft regulations and guidance set out the detail of how we propose to implement these reforms enabling local authorities to plan and prepare for implementation. Alongside this, the consultation sets out a small number of areas that we wish to further explore.
The introduction of a cap on care costs will provide people with greater clarity about what they will be expected to contribute towards the cost of their care and what help they can expect from the state. This will not only bring people much needed protection and peace of mind, but also certainty that will enable them to better plan and prepare. The extended access to means tested financial support will mean that more people will be eligible to receive financial support from their local authority towards their care costs.
Part two of the consultation seeks views on policy proposals for a new system of appeals for care and support under the Care Act and the need for a new system. These policy proposals flow from the broad consensus of support for a right of appeal that emerged as the Act progressed through Parliament. The policy proposals set the framework for a cost effective system for people to appeal against certain decisions made by local authorities under the Act which focuses on achieving early resolution.
I am placing a copy of the documents relating to this consultation in the Library of the House. These are also available on the Government’s website at: http://careact2016.dh.gov.uk. These comprise a consultation document, draft statutory guidance and regulations on the cap, policy proposals for an appeals system and an impact assessment.