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Assessing your care needs

A social care assessment is simply us talking to you and any other people involved in your care and support so we can understand what help you might need on a day to day basis. You have a legal right to have an assessment from the council if it appears that you need care and support. 

If you're eligible for social care services, we'll carry out an assessment with you to decide exactly what kind of help you need. 

Assessment process

During the assessment, we need to know

  • your personal details
  • any current health issues
  • how you feel about your current circumstances
  • how your family or carer feels about your current circumstances
  • previous services you may have received
  • any religious or cultural needs you have
  • your finances and any benefits you may receive
  • any issues you have that may affect the care you need, such as mental health difficulties, sensory impairments or a learning disability
  • your housing situation
  • whether you have an unpaid or informal carer
  • your personal care needs - what you can and can't do
  • your mobility
  • your nutritional needs and any help you might need with eating
  • day to day living, such as shopping or cleaning
  • your relationships and social involvement
  • your ability to make choices and take control
  • whether you feel you are at risk, and if you feel safe; and
  • any parenting responsibilities you might have

The finances and benefits section is quite detailed. You should be aware that this part of the assessment is to find out whether you will be asked to pay part or all of the costs of your care, so it is important that we have all the right information.

How soon will I get my assessment

We aim to carry out assessments as quickly as possible, but some people will need to be assessed more quickly if their circumstances are urgent. We aim to complete assessments within a month.

Confidentiality concerns

We will treat the information you give us during your assessment as confidential. Only staff who are involved in providing the services you need will have any information about you. We will share information with other services if you give your consent, and if this can help in providing support for you.

In exceptional circumstances we may be required to share information you have given us, for example if we believe someone's safety is at risk or the law requires it.

Your assessments are carried out free of charge.

After assessments are carried out

You will be given your own copy of the assessment. If you want us to, we can also give a copy to your carer. We will use your assessment to help us decide whether we can offer you help, and the amount and type of support you need. We make this decision based on national criteria.

NHS information on getting a needs assessment

If we decide that your circumstances are such that you are not eligible for help from the council, we will still give you advice about who you can go to for support.

If you are eligible for support

We will work with you to arrange a Support Plan.

You may be required to pay for some or all of your care and support services. We will arrange for a financial assessment to be undertaken. This will determine whether the council is able to fund some or all of your services, or whether you need to contribute towards some or all of these costs

If you're not eligible for support

You may feel you would benefit from some other assistance. Based on the information you provided for your assessment we will send you information which may be of interest to you. Further information and options can be found on the Adult health and social care section of the council website

If you disagree with the assessment

If you do not agree with the outcome of the assessment, you can ask us to reconsider our decision. Either ask your Assessor, or see our information on how to make a complaint.

Assessment review

We recognise that your needs may change over time so it is important to keep your support plan under review.

A review will be arranged by a social worker to look at the support you receive to make sure it is meeting your needs. If your needs have changed, we will re-assess them and decide what support you need. Your support may stay the same, increase or you may get less support or different types of support. The review will also give you a chance to discuss the quality of care you receive.

You can expect to have a review once a year. However, we know that people’s needs change. If your circumstances change, please contact the Adult Triage Team on 020 8227 2915 or email at Intaketeam@lbbd.gov.uk.

The review will involve you and a social worker and the following if appropriate:

  • your care provider
  • your carer or relatives (if you wish)
  • an advocate
  • your GP

You are the most important person at the review. We will always ask who you wish to be present at the review.

What if my support needs have changed

If the social worker decides your needs have changed we will talk to you about this at the review.

If you're not happy with the decisions made at the review you can talk to the social worker. They will answer your questions about your assessment and why you're no longer entitled to the same level of support.

If you're still not happy with the decision please see our information on how to make a complaint.

Support Plan

Your Support Plan will show how you are going to use the money. We will help you to create your own plan. You can ask your social worker, friends or family, or an independent advocate to help you write it. Having a Support Plan is a good way to make decisions about your care, and to make sure it works for you.

There are a number of traditional care services which your Personal Budget can pay for, such as day care or home care, but you are in control. This means you can spend your money on other things as long as they meet your care needs. There are some rules which have been set by the government, for example you can:

  • employ support workers or personal assistants
  • employ family or friends who do not live with you
  • buy services from registered agencies or organisations
  • pay expenses for an unpaid helper
  • buy equipment to help with your needs

You can't:

  • employ a family member who lives with you (except in exceptional circumstances)
  • spend the money on illegal activities

There are some other rules about what your Personal Budget can be used for, but we will explain these to you. We want your Support Plan to work for you.

Your Support Plan, your rights

We will review your Support Plan with you regularly, especially if your circumstances change or you are concerned that the plan is not working. We need to make sure that you are getting what you need and that you have enough money to pay for the things you need. You need to feel comfortable and confident that the services you are using are the right ones for you.

Your feelings matter

You have a right to:

  • be treated with courtesy and with dignity and respect
  • privacy for yourself, and for your relatives and friends when they visit you
  • deal with your own money, and to spend it in the way you want to.
  • express your views, feelings and concerns
  • worship where and when you want to
  • eat food that is prepared in line with your religious and cultural needs
  • choose the food that you eat and be given the time and space to relax and enjoy your meal
  • be involved in activities such as work, education and parenting
  • get up in the mornings and go to bed at night at the times you choose
  • relationships, including intimate relationships
  • complain if you are not happy with the care you get

If you feel that you're not being given your rights or treated fairly, please tell us. We are committed to providing high standards of care to everyone who uses our services.