Aims The Care Act 2014 gives carers the right to an assessment of their needs and provides a structure for a more personalised approach to care and support. This study aimed to explore the perspectives of carers of adults with learning disabilities of the act, and examine the potential opportunities for, and concerns and misunderstandings about, its implementation.
Methods A qualitative methodology was used, with face-to-face semi-structured interviews conducted with nine carers of adults with a learning disability. A coding framework identified elementary thematic patterns and formations, which were developed into more manageable sets of themes. These were refined and arranged to yield meaningful and potentially useful themes. The article focuses on one theme – knowledge and implementation of the Care Act 2014.
Findings All participants had heard of the act but none had received information about it from a learning disability healthcare professional, and believed it was difficult to find information about it. They recognised the significance of the legislation but their main concern was if, when and how its application would meaningfully affect their lives.
Conclusion The enhancement of carers’ status under the Care Act 2014 is an opportunity for learning disability professionals to practise more holistically and work collaboratively with carers, supported by legislation. Evaluation of the training of learning disability practitioners in how to engage with the act, and its effectiveness, should be undertaken to enable policymakers to enhance the potential for making, and sustaining, real differences to the lives of carers.
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