During the current coronavirus pandemic we, along with all other local authorities, have been granted permission to make temporary changes (or easements) to the way we deliver care. These changes are set out in the Coronavirus Act 2020 and refer to our duties under the Care Act 2014.
We will only resort to making these changes if we experience high levels of demand or workforce issues which make it necessary for us to do so.
There are four stages relating to the easements. Councils are only considered to be applying the easements if operating at stages three or four.
The stages are:
- stage one – business as usual
- stage two – applying flexibilities while continuing to meet legal duties under pre-amendment Care Act
- stage three – streamlining services under Care Act easements
- stage four – prioritisation under Care Act easements
We are currently operating at stage two of the Department of Health and Social Care guidance which means we’re working flexibly while continuing to meet all our legal duties under the Care Act before it was amended. We’re working hard to put measures in place to avoid having to operate under the easements.