Your Care: Needs assessments
If you need help to live independently at home, you may be able to get support from Newcastle City Council.
Community Health & Social Care Direct can arrange an assessment to find out how best to meet your care and support needs.
What is a Needs Assessment?
Needs Assessments used to be called Community Care Assessments; Social Care Assessments or Care and Support Assessments.
They are arranged by Newcastle City Council and are used to:
- find out what support you need to help you live independently at home
- see if you’re eligible for support services from Newcastle City Council
- offer information and advice on what support might be available in the community
Many people are put off by the idea of an assessment, but it’s not something you should worry about. The assessment is not a test you can pass or fail, it’s simply a straightforward way of finding out what help you might need to make life easier for you.
How is a Needs Assessment carried out?
Who carries out an assessment?
The assessment is carried out by a member of staff from Newcastle City Council. You will be given the name and contact details of the person co-ordinating your assessment.
What will they ask during the assessment?
The social worker will ask you about how you are managing at home or if you have any difficulties carrying out everyday tasks. They will also ask you whether you get any help with this from family, friends, district nurse or carers.
The assessment is also an opportunity for you to express your wishes about the care and support you might receive, and they will take these into consideration when making any decisions.
Where does the assessment take place?
You can ask for your assessment to take place in your home, in the social worker’s office, or before you are discharged from hospital, whatever suits you best.
Who will attend the assessment?
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-assessment and online assessment
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.
You can also request to do the assessment online. It might be helpful to have a friend or family member sit and work through the questions with you if you choose this option. For more information visit Newcastle.gov.uk.
Preparing for a Needs assessment
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 on the day. For example, if you sometimes have difficulty carrying out everyday tasks such as washing or dressing, moving about your home 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 assessment?
Newcastle City Council will look at your assessment and decide 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 this support. See newcastle.gov.uk for information.
If you’re eligible for support from Newcastle City Council
After your needs assessment Newcastle City Council will:
- draw up your personal care and support plan. This plan will set out how your support needs will be met and what services you are eligible for. 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 coucil you are still entitled to receive information and advice from them about where else you can get help, for example through 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.
If you disagree with the outcome of your assessment
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.
How to apply for a Needs assessment
Contact Community Health & Social Care Direct to request a Needs assessment. You can request an assessment for yourself or for someone you care for.
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 Assessment.
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: December 5, 2019