The Views of Practitioners on Care Act Easements during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Emily Thomas*, Mary Baginsky, Jill Manthorpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The easements of the Care Act 2014, permitted by the Coronavirus Act 2020, were in place in very few English local authorities and then only for a short time, but they still rippled across the wider social care workforce. This paper reports findings from interviews with social workers in ten non-easement authorities and with other professionals in easement and non-easement authorities to explore their understandings of easements and their reflections on their use and impact on practice. The interview data are set in the context of a wider study that explored decision-making about the adoption of easements in local authorities. Frontline practitioners (N = 30) confirmed confusion about easements and suspicion that they were a retrograde step in people’s entitlements to care and support. These views were also set in a context of lack of pandemic preparedness in social care and reflections that the care system was already fragile after a sustained period of reductions to local authority budgets and rising need. Both a robust care infrastructure was needed, as well as better crisis or disaster preparedness and planning.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPractice. Social Work in Action
Early online date25 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Sept 2023


  • care act
  • Covid -19
  • easements
  • practioners

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