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Section 1: General FAQs

1.1 What is care and support?


‘Care and support’ is the term used to describe the help some adults need to live as well as possible with any illness or disability they may have. It can include help with things like getting out of bed, washing, dressing, getting to work, cooking meals, eating, seeing friends, caring for families and being part of the community.

It might also include emotional support at a time of difficulty and stress, helping people who are caring for an adult family member or friend or even giving others a lift to a social event.


Care and support includes the help given by family and friends, as well as any provided by the council or other organisations.

1.2 What is changing?


From April 2015, the new Care Act will help make care and support, and the way everyone pays for it, more consistent across the country. This should help make things fairer and simpler if you move from one council area to another as the assessment will be ‘portable’. Also, the changes mean that a council can ask other public bodies to assist in meeting your needs and they will do so if it does not conflict with their own duties.

The ongoing responsibility for meeting your needs rests with the council where you ordinarily reside and which arranged your care and support even if your care and support is delivered in a residential care home outside of that council’s area. From April 2015 the same rule will apply for other accommodation such as supported living schemes including Extra Care Housing.


The new national changes are designed to put you in control of the help you receive.

Any decisions about your care and support will consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family, so you can stay healthy and remain independent for longer.

At South Gloucestershire Council we have been planning the changes locally, building on the changes we have already put in place to personalise adult care and in our approach to supporting carers. Our aim is to give people greater flexibility, choice and control over the support they receive, so that they continue to lead full and active lives – contributing to their community and benefitting from employment opportunities where they wish to.


A cap on care costs was due to be introduced in April 2016, but this has now been delayed until April 2020. The Government remains committed to introducing a cap on social care costs, but has said that the delay will allow time to be taken to ensure that everyone is ready to introduce the new system and to look at what more can be done to support people with the costs of care.

1.3 What was wrong with the old system?


As people are now living longer and with a better quality of life, the care and support needs they have are different. The way care and support is provided has to change to reflect this. A new Care Act has been passed to make care and support, and the way we pay for it, clearer, easier to access and more consistent across the whole of England.

1.4 Will the changes affect me?


You may benefit from the changes to care and support if you:

  • receive care and support from the council or another organisation, either at home or in a care home
  • give unpaid care and support to an adult family member or friend
  • think you may need care and support in the near future, either for yourself or for someone you help

1.5 How will the changes make things better?


The changes mean that more people will be able to get the care and support they need, either from the council or from other organisations in the community. Different ways to pay for care and support will be available across the whole of England, so people should not have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care. People who receive care and support from the council will have more say over what sort of help they get and what they want to achieve.  And there will also be more help available for people who give unpaid care and support to an adult family member or friend.

1.6 What’s the difference between care and support from the council and the care I receive at home from NHS?


Care and support organised by the council can include help with everyday things like washing and dressing, getting in and out of bed, and keeping your home clean and safe.

See section 3 for further information on needs and eligibility.


As well as care and support organised by us, some people are also eligible to receive help from the NHS. This help may be a nursing service for people who are ill or recovering at home after leaving hospital. It could include things like changing the dressings on wounds or giving medication. If you are eligible for this kind of help, a health professional such as your GP or Community Nurse should be able to tell you. Increasingly, we are working more closely with our health partners in geographical ‘cluster’ areas so as to join up care so that people only have to tell their story once and that we can more effectively co-ordinate how we support people.


In exceptional circumstances, where an adult has a complex medical condition and substantial on-going care needs, the NHS provides a service called NHS Continuing Healthcare. NHS Continuing Healthcare provides care and support in a person’s home, care home or hospice.


You can find out more about NHS Continuing Healthcare.

1.7 Where can I find out more?


To find out how the changes are being introduced in this area, get in touch with us:

Further information is available below:

Useful information, tools and guidance relating to commissioning advocacy, assessment and eligibility, safeguarding adults and more.