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Duty of care, as defined in tort law, is a legal obligation that is imposed on an individual requiring adherence to reasonable care while performing any acts that could potentially harm others.

A duty of care applies to anyone who is in a position to influence something that can cause some sort of harm to others or the stakeholders. For example, the duty of care applies to a lawyer who has the duty to study the defendant’s case properly and to the judge who has to pass a valid judgement, without any favouritism.

What is the Care Act 2014?

The Care Act 2014 defines the duty of care as the responsibility to care for and support adults, in particular, by safeguarding them and their rights and providing them protection against potential abuse, neglect, and lack of care.

The main reason for introducing the Care Act was to improve the independence and well-being of people and enable the authorities to arrange services that could safeguard people from potential neglect and abuse. The local authorities have to ensure that the best available services are being provided to the locals. For this specific reason, they have to consider numerous factors. Some of the factors that the locals have to consider are:

  • What resources are available and how they can be utilised

  • Who, in the nearby areas, need care and support and are not being provided with the level of care they require

  • Identifying care workers in the area who have support needs and providing it to them

The duty of care, as in the Care Act 2014, also lists the duties of the local authorities in ensuring that the care and support needs of the patients and the carers are being met. The local authorities must also help people benefit from independent financial advice so that they can prepare for the future costs of care.

Care Act 2014 duty of care responsibilities
Duty of care responsibilities are defined by the Care Act 2014.

When should the local authority meet the person’s care needs?

The act states that a person is entitled to have their care needs met when:

  • The needs are valid or ‘eligible’

  • The adult is a resident of the local area

  • Any of the following 5 situations apply to them

These are the 5 situations:

  • The type of care they need is provided free of cost

  • The person is unable to afford the cost of care and support

  • The person has requested the local authority to meet their needs

  • The individual does not have a sound mind or has no one to provide the care and support

  • The total cost of the care exceeds the cap on care costs

It should also be noted that the local authorities cannot force their own plan on people, however, they can help them in providing a proper care and support plan they can follow.

At Flexebee, we offer online training specific to Duty of Care Awareness, detailing the role, responsibilities and procedures for carers. See our full range of courses here.