The operation of easements under the Coronavirus Act 2020 to England’s Care Act 2014

Mary Baginskey In progress  

Introduction

COVID-19 is having a significant impact on people in need of care and support and on social care services. The Coronavirus Act 2020 became law early in the pandemic. Some of its changes relate to English local authorities’ (councils’) social care duties, particularly ‘easements’ which allow them to radically change what they do under the Care Act 2014 and how they do it (for example, postponing reviews or changing a person’s care arrangements or not supplying care at all). There have been no studies of how this new Act has been affecting: councils, the people working in them, and people receiving Care Act services.

Objectives

This study is investigating how the changes of the Coronavirus Act were put in place in social care by:

  • mapping which local authorities applied for Care Act easements, exploring why and for which activity(ies)
  • exploring the impact of the Care Act easements on practice and on service users/ carers affected, and whether the aims of seeking easements were realised.

Methods

This study is taking an exploratory research design drawing on document analysis and qualitative data collection, including through expert interviews and interviews with staff, people who use services and carers.