You may have heard the radio adverts or newspaper coverage about the national changes to the way care and support will be provided from this April.
This news will be of interest to local people who benefit from care and support and carers who receive a service from the county council.
Fortunately, we already provide much of what is being required by the Care Act from April 1.
Councils will be required to check whether people who are providing care to a friend or family member need support themselves to help them in their caring role.
We already do this and encourage carers who have not had an assessment to contact us.
We will be improving our information and advice with a new online directory of services and introducing an online form for people needing their initial assessment.
For people who already receive support, their services will continue as before and they will have their next review as planned.
We already offer a scheme that means that people can delay paying for their care home fees until they decide to sell their home or after their death and under the changes all councils will have to offer a similar scheme.
People who currently use our scheme will not be affected by the national changes.
However, we are expecting bigger changes from April 2016, which will place even greater responsibilities on the council.
Whilst we agree with requirements that improve local people’s lives, demand is rising and the money that we receive from government is decreasing.
This is why we need to ensure the services are cost effective so we can continue to deliver services to those people who need it most.
We are launching an adult social care charter that clearly sets out this commitment.
We support the aspirations and ambitions of the Care Act but we call on the government to provide fair and sustainable funding so we can continue to offer care and support for people who need our help.