Councils have to promote an adult’s ‘wellbeing’. They have a duty to do this under the Care Act 2014.
This quick read chapter provides key information about promoting wellbeing.
- What does ‘wellbeing’ mean?
- Who does wellbeing apply to?
- Why is wellbeing important?
- How can we promote wellbeing?
Wellbeing underpins all the care and support that the local authority offers to adults and carers in their area.
Everyone’s idea of wellbeing is different because it is personal to each person.
Wellbeing is a very wide term. It is much more than enjoying good physical, mental or emotional health but it is also about someone:
- being treated with dignity and respect;
- feeling safe from abuse or neglect;
- being in control of their life; – including any care and support needed and how it is provided
- being able to join in work, education, training or leisure activities;
- living in accommodation that is right for them;
- taking part in what’s happening in their local area;
- having relationships with family, friends and neighbours.
Some of the things listed above will be more important than others to different people.
The Care Act says that wellbeing must underpin all the care and support that the council provides to adults and carers in their area. Council staff should work together with people to understand their individual needs and not make assumptions about what might be best for them.
The wellbeing principle applies to all care and support services provided, as well as to decisions made about a person’s care.
It applies to:
- adults with care and support needs;
- children transferring from children’s services to adult social care, their carers and young carers; and
- those whose care and support needs mean they do not get council support, but who come into contact with the care system in some other way.
It applies equally to the above regardless of their mental capacity and regardless of their ability or willingness to receive help from the council.
Wellbeing means a shift away from local councils providing services making sure that the care and support a person receives meets their needs, in an individual and personal way. This is so they are supported to reach the goals that are important to them, for instance to live near members of their family.
Feelings of wellbeing are key to the overall health (mental and physical) of an individual.
Promoting wellbeing and independence is a principle duty of the Care Act 2014.
Council staff and those in partner agencies must promote wellbeing when providing care and support, but how this happens will depend on each person’s own circumstances
There is no set approach but some things to consider include:
- making sure the person is able to make their own choices and decisions;
- their views and feelings and the goals that they want to reach are fully taken into account;
- that all services and support provided help people to live as independently as possible;
- recognise that everyone’s needs are different and personal to them;
- assume that the person is the expert and knows best their own outcomes, goals and wellbeing
- ensure that the person can participate as fully as possible in all decisions about them
- providing information and advice to help the person to make informed decisions;
- protecting people from abuse and neglect;
- understanding that care and support can be provided in a number of different ways; and
- taking a flexible approach to the provision of care and support which focuses on the aspects of wellbeing which matter most to the person concerned.
The focus should be on supporting people to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.