Care Act 2014

The Care Act supersedes a range of previous laws surrounding people’s rights and adult social care, it is underpinned by the ‘wellbeing’ principal and focuses on ‘person centred’ decisions. It gives a legal right to advocacy support for people who are considered to have ‘substantial difficulty’ when involved in a ‘statutory process’ by adult social care or health services.


There is also no single definition of wellbeing, how this is interpreted will depend on the individual, their circumstances and their priorities. This is important for people to ensure the provision of flexible support under the Care Act. Wellbeing is a broad concept applying to several areas of life, not only to one or two. Therefore, using a holistic approach to ensure a clear understanding of the individual’s views is vital to identifying and defining wellbeing in each case.

The wellbeing principal is described by SCIE as relating to the following areas in particular:

  • Personal dignity (including treatment of the individual with respect)
  • Physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Protection from abuse and neglect
  • Control by the individual over their day-to-day life (including over care and support provided and the way they are provided)
  • Participation in work, education, training or recreation
  • Social and economic wellbeing
  • Domestic, family and personal domains
  • Suitability of the individual’s living accommodation
  • The individual’s contribution to society

These areas are not listed in any particular order, they are all equally important.


Person centred:

Person centred is a way of thinking and acting that puts the people using health and social care services at the heart of their support planning and decision making, this ensures that the service received meets a person’s need/s. The person is the expert in their own lives and situation, the person centred approach ensures that their views are listened to and influence the outcomes of their support. It’s not just about giving people what they want, its about taking a holistic approach towards all relevant factors of, and people in their lives to integrate their support.

Substantial difficulty:

It is the responsibility of the professional (from Adult Social Services, or the NHS) who is undertaking the statutory process to identify if the involved person has a ‘substantial difficulty’ being involved in the process.

This term can be used quite broadly to cover a variety of disabilities and difficulties; however, the Care Act categorises these within the following areas.

  1. Understanding the information about the process or decision
  2. Remembering the information long enough to make an informed choice
  3. Using the information to be involved in decisions
  4. Being able to tell people your views, wishes and feelings

(These are not to be confused with the Mental Capacity Assessment criteria)

Statutory process:

A statutory process refers to that undertaken by an Adult Social Service’s or the NHS / CCG. These include:

  • Social Care - Assessment of Need’s
  • Social Care - Review of Need’s
  • Social Care - Independence Planning
  • Social Care - Carers Assessment
  • Health & Social Care - Planning
  • Health & Social Care - Safeguarding investigation
  • Health & Social Care - Complaints (Southern Advocacy Service do not provide NHS complaints advocacy)

Southern Advocacy Service ‘Care Act’ Advocates:

Our Care Act advocates are all City & Guilds qualified [or working towards]. We are all professionals who support people to be involved in the planning and provision of their care. We empower people to ensure their views, wants, wishes and needs are listened to, and considered by those involved in the statutory process.

Our Care Act advocates are experienced in all relevant statutory processes, because we understand these processes, we are able to ensure peoples rights and views are not overlooked. We are competent at ensuring people’s rights are considered are upheld and can support with complaints procedures (in some cases) if they are not.

Our Care Act advocates use a variety of skills to ensure people are not just listened to, but meaningfully involved in all aspects of the ‘statutory process’. We work in some very sensitive environments and are adaptable to present peoples wishes with consideration, respect and professionalism.

Key Points of the Care Act:






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