Introduction

I am pleased to introduce this Directory which provides valuable information about care services for people living in Northumberland.

Getting help

If you think you need help, you are entitled to ask for an assessment of your needs by a care manager. This will involve discussing with you how you manage your health, personal care, essential household tasks, how you stay free from harm and how you continue with your current education or employment. With your permission we will ask to talk to any relative or friend who looks after you, a carer, your doctor, nurse or consultant and/or other relevant professionals in order to help establish what help or support you need.

If you are supporting someone ill or disabled you are entitled to ask for a carer’s assessment of your own needs to ensure that they are met. If you need an assessment a care manager will visit you and discuss your needs.

Assessments in Northumberland are provided by care managers employed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who provide adult social care on behalf of Northumberland County Council.

Care managers

Care managers are people who are trained to understand the effects of disability or illness and the ways in which these can be overcome. Many are social workers, nurses or occupational therapists. If their assessment highlights that you need care and support, your care manager will offer you a personal budget to pay for this. You can choose either to manage the personal budget yourself (this is called a direct payment), or to ask us to arrange services on your behalf.

Managing your personal budget yourself need not be complicated, even if you use it to employ care workers – there are organisations which can deal with all the administrative aspects of employment on your behalf.  You may have to make a contribution towards the cost of your support – and if you have savings or a substantial pension, you may be asked to pay the full cost. However you will not have to pay anything for an assessment of your needs.

A care manager will also try to offer any advice you need if you intend to arrange help privately, either with personal care or in areas of life where we cannot usually offer to pay for support, such as housework. If you feel you need a care manager’s advice, please do not hesitate to contact Adult Social Care.

As you read through this Directory you will find details of how to contact our Adult Social Care service and more information on how we assess the needs of individuals. You will also find a range of other useful information relating to the availability and use of care services.
We want you to be fully informed so that you are able to maintain your independence and are able to make choices about the care you receive which best suits you.

Daljit Lally
Corporate Director Adult Services, Housing, Community Health Services. A joint appointment with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council.