Independent Lives has created guidance based on real-life scenarios that disabled people commonly experience. The guidance is intended to enable you to assert your rights and to help you to navigate through law and legislation.

It is specifically written about adult services and is for guidance only.

If you need legal advice, please contact a legal service.

Scenario: ‘I would like my wellbeing to be considered more in my care and support plan’

What does ‘wellbeing’ mean?

The Care Act 2014 is intended to help improve people’s independence and wellbeing. The most important principle of the Care Act is that local authorities maintain and promote an individual’s wellbeing when carrying out any care and support for a person.

Wellbeing covers a broad range of areas. Statutory guidance defines it the ‘Wellbeing Principle’ as relating to the following nine areas:

  1. personal dignity (including treating people with respect
  2. physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
  3. protection from abuse and neglect
  4. control by the individual over their day-to-day life (including over the kind of care and support provided and the way it is provided)
  5. being able to participate in work, education, training or recreation
  6. social and economic wellbeing
  7. domestic, family and personal relationships
  8. suitability of living accommodation
  9. the individual’s contribution to society

Watch a video that explains the Care Act (Credit: SCIE)

How is your wellbeing considered when a local authority or the NHS is making a Care and Support Assessment

Local authorities  may approach the principle of wellbeing in different ways and it also depends on your personal circumstances, such as your needs, goals, wishes and what you want to achieve.

During the care and assessment process, the local authority will consider what aspects of the principle of wellbeing are most relevant to you, and assess how your needs impact on them. Local authorities should adopt a flexible approach that allows for a focus on the aspects of wellbeing matter most to you. This will then be used to produce your Care and Support Plan.

Watch a video on what a good Care and Support Plan should look like (credit: Helen Sanderson Associates)

The Care Act sets out that local authorities should recognise that you (the individual) are best placed to judge what is best for you. The Wellbeing Principle is not intended to be a directly enforceable right however a local authority’s failure to follow the principle may be challenged through judicial review.

How were you involved in planning your care?

You have the right to be involved in planning your care. Under the Care Act you have the right to be involved in decisions that affect you, or the care that you receive from your local authority. If you are eligible for care, the local authority will then look at the support that you will need for daily living activities. These include: toilet needs; moving safely around your home; keeping your home clean; maintaining personal and family relationships and contact with other people; to enable you with work, volunteering, education and training; using local community services and facilities and your ability to get around and any caring responsibilities you may have for a family member or other dependent.

What can you do to change your situation?

An Advocate may be able to help if you feel you need impartial advice and support: to understand relevant information; retain information; use or weigh up information and to communicate your views, wishes and feelings. You have the right to an Advocate, and can request links to an advocacy service.

The advocacy duty applies from the point of first contact with the local authority and at any subsequent stage of the assessment, planning, care review, safeguarding enquiry or safeguarding adult review.

The Advocate will be able to help you make an informed choice about the care and support needs that you have, speak on your behalf, support you so that your voice is heard and ensure that your support plan is drafted properly.

Finding an advocacy service

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