Health and social care rights

Explains your rights to social care, and how this differs from healthcare. Includes information on eligibility, needs assessments, financial assessments, and how local authorities may meet your needs. Applies to England and Wales.

Your stories

Why we’re not giving up the fight on PIP

Ayaz Manji, Mind Policy & Campaigns Officer
Posted on 19/04/2017

The Work Programme wasn’t working. Was it just me?

When Richard was on the Work Programme he didn't know if he was the only one who felt it wasn't working.


Posted on 13/03/2015

Crisis care in Wales

Sara blogs about the changes to crisis care in Wales resulting from the Crisis Care Concordat.

Sara Moseley
Posted on 17/05/2017

Terms you need to know

Term

Meaning

Advocate

An advocate is a person who can both listen to you and speak for you in times of need. Having an advocate can be helpful in situations where you are finding it difficult to make your views known, or to make people listen to them and take them into account.

See our pages on advocacy for more information.

Authorised person

An authorised person is:

  • someone who is authorised under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to act for you, such as a deputy or someone acting under a personal welfare lasting power of attorney, or
  • someone who is considered suitable by a person authorised under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, or
  • if there is not a person authorised under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, someone who the local authority considers is suitable

See our pages on the Mental Capacity Act for more information.

Capacity

'Capacity' means the ability to understand information and make decisions about your life. Sometimes it can also mean the ability to communicate decisions about your life.

If you do not understand the information and are unable to make a decision about your care, for example, you are said to lack capacity.

See our pages on the Mental Capacity Act for more information.

Care Act 2014

This is the law that governs social care in England.

Care and Treatment Planning (CTP)

Care and Treatment Planning is a way that secondary mental health services are assessed, planned, coordinated and reviewed for someone that lives in Wales. It comes from a law called the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010.

Secondary mental health services include the community mental health team (CMHT), assertive outreach team and early intervention team.

You should get:

  • a full assessment of your health and social care needs
  • a care plan
  • regular reviews
  • a care coordinator who will be responsible for overseeing your care and support.

See our pages on leaving hospital for more information.

Carer's assessment

This is an assessment for carers, to find out what their needs for support are.

Care Programme Approach (CPA)

The Care Programme Approach is a way that secondary mental health services are assessed, planned, coordinated and reviewed for someone that lives in England.


Secondary mental health services include the Community Mental Health Team, Assertive Outreach Team and Early Intervention Team.

You should get:

  • a full assessment of your health and social care needs
  • a care plan
  • regular reviews
  • a care coordinator who will be responsible for overseeing your care and support.

See our pages on leaving hospital for more information.

Clinical commissioning group (CCG)

CCGs are groups of GP practices and other healthcare professionals and bodies that are responsible for commissioning most health and care services for patients. They have replaced Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in England.

Code of Practice to the Care Act

This is published guidance that tells local authorities how they should meet their legal obligations under the Care Act and the regulations under it. Local authorities must follow it, unless they can show a legal reason why they can't.

You might also sometimes see it referred to as the 'Care and support statutory guidance', or the 'Statutory guidance issued under the Care Act 2014'.

Code of Practice under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

There are seven Codes of Practice which are guidance to local authorities and local health boards on how they should meet their obligations under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

Local authorities and local health boards must follow the guidance in the Codes of Practice unless they can show legal reasons why they can't.

Continuing healthcare (CHC)

This is a package of care for people who are not in hospital and have been assessed as having a 'primary health need' (this means that your main need must relate to your health). You don't have to pay anything for CHC – it's arranged and paid for by the NHS.

Disability discrimination

This is when someone is treated worse because of their physical or mental health condition.

For more information, see our pages on disability discrimination.

Healthcare

There's no legal definition of healthcare. However, the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare says that a healthcare need is related to the treatment, control or prevention of a disease, illness, injury or disability, and the care or aftercare of a person with these needs.

Local health board (LHBs)

These are organisations in the health service in Wales that have been set up to develop and provide health services based on the needs of the local community.

Mental Health Act 1983

This is a law that applies to England and Wales which allows people to be detained in hospital (sectioned) if they have a mental illness and need treatment. You can only be kept in hospital if certain conditions are met.

See our pages on the Mental Health Act for more information.

Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010

This is a law that applies to Wales. It sets out the support that people living in Wales should receive from primary and secondary mental health services.

Needs assessment

This is the first stage in getting any social care. The local authority will assess your needs to gain a full picture of what kinds of care and support needs you have, and use this to make informed decisions about whether you're eligible for support.

Primary care

This is often the first point of contact for people in need of healthcare. It's provided by professionals such as GPs, dentists and pharmacists.

Protected characteristics

'Protected characteristics' is the name for the nine personal characteristics that are protected from discrimination under the Equality Act.

The protected characteristics are:

  • age
  • disability (this can include mental health problems)
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation.

For more information, see our pages on disability discrimination.

Safeguarding

In social care, safeguarding means protecting your right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. Local authorities have duties under the law towards people who are experiencing or are at risk of abuse and neglect.

Safeguarding adults board

All local authorities must have a safeguarding adults board. Their purpose is to:

  • help and protect adults at risk in their areas
  • conduct safeguarding adult reviews.

A safeguarding adults board is made up of:

  • the local authority itself
  • the local clinical commissioning group
  • a senior police officer from the local constabulary.


Other people, such as GPs and members of user, advocacy or carers groups, can also be invited to attend some meetings.

Secondary care

These are healthcare services which generally will need a referral from a GP. Examples of secondary mental health services include:

  • hospitals
  • community mental health teams (CMHTs)
  • early intervention for psychosis teams
  • assertive outreach teams.

Section

Being 'sectioned' means that you're kept in hospital under the Mental Health Act. There are different types of sections, each with different rules to keep you in hospital. The length of time that you can be kept in hospital depends on which section you're detained under.

See our pages on sectioning for more information.

Social care

There's no legal definition of social care. However, the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare says that a social care need is focused on providing assistance with:

  • the activities of daily living
  • maintaining independence
  • social interaction, enabling you to play a fuller part in society
  • protecting you in vulnerable situations
  • helping you manage complex relationships
  • (in some circumstances) accessing a care home or other supported accommodation.

Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

This is the law that governs social care in Wales.

Tertiary care

Tertiary care is highly specialised healthcare treatment, such as secure forensic mental health services.

 


This information was published in February 2018. We will revise it in 2020.


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