Health and Social Care

In 2014 The Care Act was passed into law to regulate the assessment and provision of care for Adults (18 years up) and carers. This page gives links to the published guidance from the Department of Health (DoH) on assessments and an overview of the Act from Luke Clements, Cerebra Professor of Law at Cardiff University. For an overview of the Care Act 2014 by Luke Clements click here.  

Guidance has been published about assessments, provision and eligibility of care under the 2014 Care Act. Click here to read it.

Also in September 2014 the Children & Families Act became law which abolishes statements of SEN and replaces them with Education, Health & Care Plans (EHC Plans). Click here to view Contact A Family's new guide to Social Care for children, "Getting Social Care Services when your Child has Additional Needs".


Healthwatch Reading

Through Healthwatch Reading you can make a complaint about hospitals, GPs, mental health services, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, opticians, 111, walk-in centres, NHS-funded private care and more.

Healthwatch Reading's advocacy team can help:

  • Explain how the NHS complaints process works.
  • Listen to your concerns and answer your questions.
  • Explain your rights.
  • Discuss all your options.
  • Get your complaint to the right people.
  • Put you in touch with other organisations.
  • Prepare with you for local resolution meetings.
  • Build up your confidence to speak for yourself.
  • Attend meetings with you.
  • Speak on your behalf if you are unable to.
  • Refer you to more specialist advocates if needed.
  • Help you go the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, if you are still dissatisfied

For more information see the Healthwatch website or contact them on / 0118 937 2295


Reading Voice - Advocacy under the Care Act 2014

People who are entitled to ‘Care Act advocacy’ will be matched with the most suitable independent advocate under a new service being coordinated by Healthwatch Reading from 1 April 2015. New rights came into effect under the Care Act (2014) for the most vulnerable, isolated people, to have an independent advocate to help them voice their preferences and choices, during social care assessments, reviews, change of circumstances or around safeguarding concerns.

In Reading, this means social workers or care managers will refer eligible cases to Healthwatch Reading Voice, which will then allocate the person to the right advocate from a newly launched pool of people from local charities. The advocates are based at: Age UK Reading, Reading Mencap and Talkback, and they are all now qualified Care Act advocates or working towards the new advocacy qualification as required under the Act.

Advocacy is about supporting people to understand their options and rights, to have their say over their needs and to gain control over their lives. An advocate can speak on the person’s behalf if needed, but does not tell the person what to do or make decisions for them.

Care Act Advocacy (and NHS Complaints Advocacy) is provided free, is confidential, and is independent from providers of health and social care.

People with questions about the service should contact Healthwatch Reading by emailing or phoning 0118 937 2295.