Adult Social Care?

If you think you might be entitled to help from Adult Social Care, your first step should be to contact the Customer Service Centre:

John Dryden House, Northampton NN4 7YD
Working hours are Monday to Friday: 8.00am-6.00pm
Tel: 0300 126 1000

However, if you are in hospital you should ask a nurse on the ward to refer you to the Health Partnership Teams in the hospitals.

If you feel you need support, then you should have an assessment of your needs to show what you need help with. You may be finding it difficult to look after yourself, or live the way you want to because you have:

• health problems that affect your independence;
• a mental health issue (see page 49);
• dementia;
• lost some or all of your hearing or sight;
• a physical disability or injury;
• a learning disability; or
• Asperger’s Syndrome or a similar condition.

Your assessment is about you, and is completed with you. It involves you answering some questions about your life, what you can do and what you feel you need help with so you can live as independently as possible. With your agreement, the Council may also talk to other  people who know you, or support you, including your doctor or nurse if you have one.

How will the assessment be carried out?

Some assessments can be quite straightforward and carried out over the telephone by contacting the Customer Service Centre (please see above for contact details). At other times the Council will come and visit you and, if this is the case, the Customer Service Centre would
pass your information to the social care team based in your locality and a social care practitioner would visit you at home to carry out the assessment. Please see page 39 for details of a financial assessment which will also be required.

How quickly will you do my assessment?

This will depend on how urgent your needs are, and to what extent your difficulties are independence. The Council will endeavour to complete your assessment within 28 days but if your situation is urgent the Council would complete your assessment a lot sooner.

Am I guaranteed to receive support directly from the Council?

Your assessment will give us the information the Council need to decide whether you are entitled to support from Adult Social Care. Not everyone who has needs will be entitled to support from us. The Council may direct you to another department, for example your GP, an
occupational therapist for equipment or the Housing department if they feel they would be better placed to meet your needs.

How does the Council decide if I am entitled to support?

The Council will take into account the difficulties you are facing and how much this affects your independence; this is called the ‘eligibility framework’ and it is linked with Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) criteria, which is set by the Government. This lets Councils decide what level of people’s needs they can support, depending on the resources they have available. For Northamptonshire this means the Council can only provide support to help those people whose assessments indicate that their independence is or will be significantly limited without

The framework to decide if you are eligible for support is divided into four areas of need:

• physical and mental health and wellbeing;
• the home environment, personal and domestic routines;
• freedom to make and act on decisions or choices; and
• family, social roles and responsibilities.

The Council also assesses what level of risk there is to your independence. There are five levels of risk:

• ‘Critical’;
• ‘Greater Substantial’;
• ‘Lesser Substantial’;
• ‘Moderate’; and
• ‘Low’.

Northamptonshire County Council only provides support affecting your to people where the risk to their independence is assessed as being ‘Critical’ or ‘Greater Substantial’ if support
was not provided.

What happens after my assessment if I am eligible for support?

If your assessment shows that the needs you have means you fall in to the ‘Critical’ or ‘Greater Substantial’ levels of risk, you will be entitled to support from the Council. You will receive help to plan how best to manage your support. You will also receive a financial assessment to identify if you will have to contribute to the cost of your care services.

The Council will discuss with you what options and services are available to help you. If you are eligible for support from Adult Social Care services this will be provided through a Personal Budget. Personal Budgets ensure you have choice and control over your support and services. You may choose to use your Personal Budget on a range of options including a personal assistant or a care agency to support you with personal care or daily routines, opportunities to get out and meet people, and equipment and technology designed to help you stay at home safely. Further information about Personal Budgets can be found below.

If you have regular support from a friend or family member the Council will offer them a carer’s assessment and provide information about support for carers.

Will I have to pay for the help I get?

All the Council’s verbal advice is free of charge, but it is likely that you will need to pay towards the cost of the services you receive. During your assessment the Council will discuss this with you, and will leave a financial assessment form for you to complete to determine how much you should contribute towards any service you receive. Further information about contributions and charges can be found on page 39.

What happens if I am not eligible for support from the Council?

Where your assessment has shown the Council that the difficulties you have and the corresponding risks to your independence fall within the ‘Lesser Substantial’, ‘Moderate’ or ‘Low’ bands, they will provide you with information and advice to enable you to arrange assistance for yourself. The Council provides financial funding to many voluntary sector
organisations that can support you with advice, information and services designed to help you stay independent in your own home.

What if I disagree with my assessment decision?

If you disagree with any part of your assessment, then you can appeal. Appeals of this nature should be directed to the Customer Feedback Team. Please see the list of useful contacts starting on page 62.