Section 9 - Amendment of 1968 Act: assessment of ability to provide care etc.
46.Under section 12A of the 1968 Act a local authority is required, if requested by a carer of an adult, to carry out an assessment of the carer’s ability to care only if the authority at that time is also assessing the needs of the cared-for person for community care services. “Community care services” are defined in section 5A(4) of the 1968 Act.
47.Section 9 of the Act amends and adds to these provisions, and gives carers of adults an independent right to request assessment that does not depend on whether the authority is also assessing the needs of the cared-for adult. This applies to all carers irrespective of their age.
48.At present, a local authority must have regard to the results of the assessment of a carer when deciding what services should be provided to the cared-for person. A local authority may also give a carer assistance directly in the form of information or advice, or by supporting organisations which help carers. Where carers have needs in their own right due to their own health or other circumstances, a local authority may assess the carer for community care services under section 12A of the 1968 Act, and may provide any necessary support in the form of community care services. The changes made by section 9 which extend the circumstances in which carers may request an assessment do not affect the courses of action open to a local authority following that assessment, namely to provide support to carers directly, or through the services it provides to the cared-for person.
49.Section 9 of the Act also introduces a new section 12AB to the 1968 Act, requiring local authorities to provide certain information to carers that the authorities are aware of who are providing, or intending to provide, a substantial amount of care on a regular basis for someone over 18. Local authorities should notify such carers that they may be entitled to an independent assessment of their ability to provide care, under section 12AA of the 1968 Act.