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Your Care Needs conversation

If you need help to live independently at home you can get information and advice from Newcastle City Council.  There may be several stages to your conversation ranging from a telephone conversation to a meeting in your home or place of your choice.  You can contact:

 


How does a needs conversation work?

Over the years, needs conversations have had a variety of titles such as: Community Care Assessments; Social Care Assessments or Care and Support Assessments.  They are arranged by Newcastle City Council and are used to:

  • help you to find out what support you need to live independently at home
  • offer information and advice on what support might be available in the community
  • see if you’re eligible for Newcastle City Council to help you

Many people are worried about having these conversations.  They can seem negative and emotional, but it’s simply a straightforward way of finding out what help you might need to make life easier for you.


How does a needs conversation work?

The framework for your conversation is based on how you are managing at home and any difficulties you have carrying out everyday tasks. Topics may be as varied as talking about common daily chores, bathing, toileting and dressing, moving around your home, preparing meals and drinks or night time/sleep and going out.It will be important to know whether you get any help from family, friends, district nurse or carers.

Who will be involved in the conversation?

You might like to have a carer, family member or friend with you during your assessment. Newcastle City Council can also arrange an independent advocate for you who will be trained to help you with the process.

Self-appraisal or online appraisal

If you prefer you can complete your own assessment form and send it to Newcastle City Council.  The council may then ask you some questions or ask for more information from people such as your GP.  Contact Community Health & Social Care Direct for more information.

 


Preparing for a needs conversation

Before your assessment it might be helpful to make a list of things you find difficult, especially on ‘bad days’ so you can discuss these in your conversation. For example, if you sometimes have difficulty washing or dressing, moving about your home, managing your children or getting out and about.

It may also help to talk these things through with someone that knows you well, as an extra viewpoint can be useful.


What happens after the needs conversation?

Newcastle City Council will look at the notes taken during your conversation and decide

  • what information and advice it can offer
  • what care services it can provide or arrange for you.

There are nationally agreed criteria that you need to meet in order to be eligible for the Council to support you financially.

If you’re eligible for support from Newcastle City Council

After your needs conversation Newcastle City Council will:

  • draw up your personal care and support plan. This plan will set out how your support needs may be met and what services you are eligible for from the Council. You can have as much involvement in the development of your plan as you wish
  • arrange a Financial Assessment for you, which will work out how much you have to pay towards your care and support
  • You will then be given a Personal Budget that will be used to pay for your care and support .

NHS.UK lists details of what will be included in your care plan.


If you’re not eligible for support from Newcastle City Council

If you don’t qualify to receive support from the council you are still have the information and advice detailed in your needs conversation and they can signpost you to charities or other local organisations.

You can arrange your own care and support privately if you prefer. There are a number of organisations who can help you to plan this or offer private care services.

  • Disability North provides information and advice on all aspects of disability for disabled people, their families and carers. They can offer advice on aids, equipment, employing care staff and managing your personal budget.
  • Paying For Care is a free national information and advice service helping older people, their families, friends and carers make informed choices when faced with having to pay for care.
  • People Plus can help you to employ a personal assistant, arrange other care services, manage your personal budget and direct payments.
  • FirstStop Housing options for older people free online service and telephone helpline to help you make choices about your housing and care options.

If you disagree with the outcome of your conversation report

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your assessment or with your proposed care and support plan you can ask for a full written explanation of the assessment. If you’re still unhappy after reading their explanation you can Complain to Adult Services.


Carers Needs conversation

If members of your family or friends help you by providing care, for example with personal care or practical tasks, they are also eligible for a Carers needs conversation


Other Useful Information

Local authority assessment for community care services – Age UK’s factsheet

Read more information about Needs Assessments at www.newcastle.gov.uk

Last updated: August 9, 2022

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