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The impact of Care Act Easements under the Coronavirus Act 2020

Full title: The impact of Care Act easements under the Coronavirus Act 2020 on co-resident carers, over the age of 70, with spouses or partners living with dementia

During the COVID-19 pandemic, carers over the age of 70 with spouses or partners living with dementia and residing at home have faced several challenges.

These include the withdrawal of services, restrictions of movement and risks of illness. The pandemic has also placed a strain on some of those living with dementia.

New emergency legislation was introduced in the Coronavirus Act 2020 by the UK government in response to the pandemic. This included the unprecedented powers for local authorities to suspend the majority of their adult social care duties required under the Care Act 2014.

These suspensions were known as easements. Eight local authorities introduced easements at the initial peak of the pandemic, while many others adapted their services.

Our research explores the impact of these easements on co-resident carers over the age of 70. We are interested to hear views on:

  • the resources needed;
  • what could have been done to better support both carers and practitioners;
  • how prior cuts and/or restructuring might have impacted upon the action that they were able to take;
  • what was and is needed, now and for the future, at a national, regional, local and community level.

Through doing this research, we seek to understand the wider social impacts and legal implications of this suspension of these legal rights in a balanced way.


  • Investigate the consequences of Care Act Easements on carers (aged 70+) of people living with dementia at home, comparing experiences of carers in different local authorities.
  • Explore this issue with safeguarding and social work leads, who were involved in making decisions in the context of this particular set of circumstances.

Policy relevance

We will submit an interim report to the legislative review of the Coronavirus Act 2020 as we deliver a final report to the Department of Health and Social Care, the Local Government Association and local authorities.

We will also seek to make formal submissions to parliamentary select committees to inform related investigative work.

In addition, we will produce accessible, easy to understand summaries of our reports and outputs for stakeholders and the public.

Delivery timeline

1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022

Project team

Find out more about the people involved in this project:

Associated publications and resources


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