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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.

What is changing?

From April 2015, care and support in England changed for the better. The new Care Act makes care and support more consistent across the country.

The Care Act puts 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.

Significant changes were introduced in April 2015 and others will come into being in April 20201.

As part of the 2020 changes, we will provide more financial help for those who need it and people with modest means will benefit too. There will also be a new form of protection from unlimited care costs – You may have heard this referred to as the cap on care costs.

1 The care cap was initially introduced to come into force from April 2016.


  • Written Statement made by Minister of State for Community and Social Care (Alistair Burt MP) on 20 July 2015: Written statement


Will The Care Act changes affect me?

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

  • receive care and support from your 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


How will the changes make things better?

The changes mean that more people are 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 there will also be more help available for people who give unpaid care and support to an adult family member or friend.

From April 2020, financial support will be available to more people, and everyone will be protected from unlimited care and support costs.

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.

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.

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.

Find out more about NHS Continuing Healthcare.

Where can I find out more?

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