It’s taken the same amount of time as many a space mission – but will the Care Act land well so that it delivers what it promises, or will it, like Beagle 2, land in one piece but be unable to deliver on all the hard work. The Care Act will finally come into force in April. In bringing together and updating all the legislation on social care, one of the most positive and potentially exciting aspects is the emphasis on person-centred planning. It’s been a long journey to get this far and change will only happen if local authorities really get under the skin of the act and ensure their new responsibilities are delivered with the people who receive support at the centre of their thinking. New guidance has been published by the Think Local Act Personal partnership for Local Authorities. The Guidance written by our friend Helen Sanderson in partnership with NDTi and Blend shows Local Authorities how to develop care and support plans that are both compliant with the Care Act and also move towards what people want from planning.

People who use services helped to develop the guide to make sure that it described what good care and support planning really looks like. There are examples from councils across England that are leading the way in this area. It describes the principles for what people want in a care and support planning process, the elements that need to be in place and recommendations for councils so they can be both Care Act compliant and person-centred in their approach. The guide is available to download here.

It remains to be seen what the impact of the General Election may have on the implementation of the Care Act. We are supporting the Learning Disability Alliance in their assessment of what the past 5 years has meant for people with a learning disability, they are gathering views through a survey that can be accessed via their website.

With so much change, not only the Care Act but also the ongoing reviews and reports post Winterbourne View, it is more important than ever that politicians hear the views of people with learning disabilities. We know that very few people with learning disabilities vote in elections. At a recent meeting in Westminster, politicians from across the political spectrum joined together with people with learning disabilities to try and change this. ARC member Alison Sayer of Halas Homes attended and has written a report for us and you can read that here.