In April 2015 the introduction of the Care Act in England
radically changed the way in which care and support services are
organised. The act places local authorities under a very powerful
obligation. They are charged not just with having regard for, but
with actually 'promoting' an individual's wellbeing. The act also
covers many of the obligations the government has signed up to
under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities. In this regard the Care Act is a very
significant and welcome development.
However new duties are being placed on local authorities at a
time of unprecedented cuts to their funding.) In the lead up to the
introduction of the Care Act, adult social care departments have
had to make 'budget savings amounting to 26 percent over the last
four years, the equivalent of £3.53 billion'). Further, the Care
Act is being put in place alongside a major organisational change
to the way care and support for many disabled people is funded as
the Independent Living Fund has now closed and its once ring-fenced
budget has been transferred to local authority control.
This report, published by In Control on behalf of the
Independent Living Strategy group, presents the findings of an
online survey looking at what impact the Care Act is actually
having on the day-to-day lives of disabled people living in England
Choice and control
- Just under half (48%) of all respondents reported that the
choice and control they enjoyed over their support was poor or very
- A third of respondents (33%) said that the level of choice and
control they enjoyed over their support had reduced or reduced
- Significant numbers of people reported a range of different
restrictions being placed on how they could use the money available
for their support: for example 50% of respondents reported support
was restricted to personal care tasks only.
Quality of life and wellbeing
- Well over half (58%) of respondents reported that their quality
of life had reduced or reduced significantly over the past 12
- A quarter of respondents (25%) said the hours of work or
volunteering they could do had reduced or reduced
- Almost two out of five (38%) reported they are having to rely
more on family and friends for support.
- More than a quarter (27%) of respondents reported an increase
or a significant increase in the amount of money they have to
contribute towards the cost of their support.
Quality and amount of support
- About the same numbers of respondents rated the quality of
their support as good or very good (41%) as rated it poor or very
- However, the amount of support was rated as poor or very poor
by 44% of respondents compared to 30% saying the amount of support
they had was good or very good.
Experiences of assessments and reviews
- The majority (86%) of people reported that when their local
authority had assessed their needs they had listened or partly
listened to them.
- Of those respondents who said their support had been reviewed
in the last 12 months, just under two thirds (63%) did not know how
much money was available for their support.
- One in four people had been told their support would be reduced
because of cuts/savings and/or there is a limit to the amount of
money you can get for a particular service.
Experiences of former Independent Living Fund recipients
- Two out of five (41%) former Independent Living Fund recipients
reported that the amount of their support had decreased or
decreased a lot, and one third (33%) said that their quality of
support had got worse or a lot worse.
- Around one third (34%) of former Independent Living Fund
recipients reported new restrictions being placed on their
Information and advice
- Over a third of respondents (37%) struggle to find the
information and advice they need.
- Most commonly people rely on friends and family (33%) and user
led organisations (22%) for information and advice.
- Only 16% used their local authority's website for
- In terms of what people need advice and support with, just
under a half (45%) said they needed help understanding their rights
under the Care Act and a third (34%) solving problems with their
- Over half (51%) of direct payment recipients reported that the
information, advice and support they get to manage their direct
payment was poor or very poor.
Download and read the report in full below.
You can also download the action planning tool taken from pages 12
and 13 of the report.