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Lay Summary
The impact of Care Act Easements on co-residents carers 70+ looking after people living with dementia 
Phil Drake, Debora Price and Jayne Astbury 
NIHR PRU Showcase Webinar, 5 April 2022

Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020, the government passed an emergency set of laws called the Coronavirus Act 2020, which amongst other things, allowed local authorities to reduce or “ease” some of their normal legal duties under the Care Act 2014.  These were called “easements”, and meant local authorities could lawfully re-prioritise their services and not have to comply strictly with existing statutory duties. Eight local authorities brought easements into force between April and July 2020. 

This presentation considers the experiences of both carers and local authorities in local authority areas that invoked easements and those that did not during the pandemic. The study team interviewed Principal Social Workers/Safeguarding Leads from 20 local authorities including easement and non-easement areas, and also interviewed 47 carers over the age of 70 supporting a spouse or partner living with dementia to live at home during the pandemic. This presentation documents the actions taken by local authorities, and the impact of the pandemic and easements on carers. There is consideration  of the impact on in-home public and private care provision, day centres and respite care; the risks faced by carers and their partners; and a discussion of the legal implications of our findings.


Phil Drake,

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