Your assessment

Before they can arrange care services for you, Adult Social Care must assess your needs. Social workers, housing staff and health professionals may work with you and your carer to identify what your needs are and how they might best be met.

The assessment is based on your circumstances and will be different for each person. A social worker/care manager will look at ways to best meet your agreed outcomes and goals.

The best way of meeting your goals will then be discussed with you, sometimes with an occupational therapist’s help. If you already have a relative or friend who is a carer, they can also be assessed if they wish.

Once your needs have been assessed and your desired outcomes established, Adult Social Care will decide if you are eligible for their help. To do this, they will use a framework set by the Department of Health. Your ‘risks to independence’ and needs will be assessed in four eligibility bands ranging from ‘low’ to ‘critical’.

A financial assessment will also take place, to determine how much you can afford to contribute towards the cost of your care. For details of financial assessments and contributions, see your Council’s separate factsheets. ‘Paying for Services in a Care Home’ is available if you live in Dorset.

If you live in Bournemouth the leaflets ‘Paying for Care’ and ‘Choosing and Paying for Care in a Residential or Nursing Home’ will tell you about charges. Further details are in Poole’s ‘Charging for Residential Care’ leaflet ‘Contributions towards Personal Budgets (non-residential social care services)’ and ‘Paying for a Care Home Placement’ booklet.

Am I eligible for an assessment?

To be eligible for an assessment, you may have one or more of the following:
• sight or hearing difficulties;
• mental health needs;
• frailty because of old age;
• ongoing care needs when you leave hospital;
• learning disabilities;
• permanent, substantial physical disabilities;
• a long term illness; or
• problems related to substance misuse.

Alternatively, you may provide regular unpaid care for someone and subsequently be eligible for a carer’s assessment.

Who can refer you for an assessment?

You can be referred by:
• yourself or a relative, friend or neighbour;
• a social worker or health professional such as a doctor or health visitor; or
• any other agency.

If you wish to request an assessment or need more information, telephone your local Adult Social Care office (contact details are on page 4). They will arrange for an
interpreter if you do not speak English or if you use sign language.

What does the process involve?

The assessment of your needs will involve your social worker talking with you, your carer (if you wish) and other people who know you well, about different aspects of your life. These discussions may include your physical health, your emotional health, how you manage to look after yourself, what outcomes you are looking for from the care and support provided and your current family and support networks. Services may be offered to meet needs that pose a ‘critical’ or ‘substantial’ risk to your independence, in line with the Government’s ‘Fair Access to Care Services’ guidelines. Methods of best meeting your needs and achieving your outcomes will be discussed and agreed with you.

Do I have a say in what services I get?

After your needs have been assessed, Adult Social Care will advise you about services you may be eligible for and/or a Personal Budget (explained on page 8) to help you meet your care needs. They will discuss with you:
• the type of help you think you need to meet your outcomes;
• when you think it is needed;
• who will be providing the assistance;
• how long they will be with you;
• how it will be paid for; and
• your religious and cultural needs.

Support plans are reviewed regularly and will include all references to any Personal Budget you may be eligible for, to help pay for your care needs.