On 1 April 2015 a large part of the Care Act 2014 came into force. This is major reform of the social care system in the UK. Previously social care legislation has been made piecemeal and was contained in many different pieces of legislation.

The Care Act replaces most current law regarding carers and people being cared for.

The changes from 1 April 2015 include:

The new way in which local authorities should deal with needs assessments and carers assessments

How local authorities should determine who is eligible for support

Deferred payments for paying for care ( so that some people who may have been forced to sell their house to pay for care when going into residential care may not have to do so) .

If you have been refused help following a needs assessment or carers assessment it may be worthwhile seeking a new assessment as the criteria have changed. If you already receive help there is no requirement to seek a new assessment.

The Care Act is mainly for adults in need of care and their adult carers. There are also some provisions for the transition of children in need of care and support, parent carers of those children, and young carers.

Some parts of the Care Act 2014, including the much heralded cap on the maximum amount of care costs someone has to pay during their lifetime) is not be to introduced until April 2016.