LETTER: Health care point

I WANTED to clarify some points about the new Care Act following a recent article on the West Sussex Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee (HASC) meeting.

The act is the most significant social care reform in 60 years.

The changes are designed to help people plan for the future and put them in control of the help they receive, have more control over their care and support and remain independent for as long as possible.

The points I wanted to clarify are that vulnerable people will not face new assessments.

People who receive funded social care from us will have an annual review of their care package in 2015-2016.

Anyone who has social care needs and does not receive funded social care from us will have the option of an assessment if they want one.

The assessment is not primarily about assessing people’s financial needs, it is about assessing their need for care and support.

I’d also like to clarify that carers do not need to be registered and do not face reassessment.

They are being offered assessments if they want one.

This has lots of benefits for carers as it can ensure that they get the advice and support that they need.

Most people with over £23,250 in savings and assets are not eligible for financial support at the moment. That will remain unchanged.

The government proposes to cap care costs after the age of 65 at £72,000 over the rest of a person’s life from April, 2016.

People who need to go into residential care will be eligible for a deferred payment.

This means that the county council pays for their care during their lifetime and recoups the amount spent on care, together with allowable costs, usually after the person has died.

For more information please visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/careact.

Peter Catchpole

West Sussex County Council member for adult social care and health