Whats in this section?
Whats in this section?
Welsh Care Services
Care Services in Wales are inspected and regulated by Care Inspectorate Wales, they also work with providers to help them improve their service and make sure everyone gets safe, high-quality care that meets their needs. Care Services in Wales are not allowed to operate unless they’re registered with the Care Inspectorate.
How to get Social Care in Wales
In order to access care services in Wales, you will need to complete a care needs assessment with the support of your local council, these will be provided free of charge by a social worker or occupational therapist.
The care needs assessment and/or carer’s assessment may also include a financial assessment.
First Point of Contact
If you need to arrange care for yourself or someone else, your local council’s social care department is your first point of contact.
In Wales you can use NHS 111 Wales to search for your local Social care department.
In England and Wales you can also book a care needs assessment directly using https://www.gov.uk/apply-needs-assessment-social-services
Regardless of which part of the UK you’re based, the adult social services department of your local authority will conduct the assessment.
Care Needs Assessments
You will likely need an assessment of your care needs if you want help for your local council with care services such as:
- care home placements
- home care services
- day care services
- support for your carer
Care assessments are carried out with you by care professionals (typically either a social worker, district nurse OT or other care professional) from your local council’s social care department. During this assessment, they will try and identify:
- what your care needs are
- how they can be met by social care services in your area
- other types of support you might be eligible for/ suited to from your local council or the NHS.
How to get an assessment
The primary way to get an assessment is through Self Referral, you can also ask someone else to do this for you, such as:
- your carer
- your GP
- district nurse
- member of hospital staff
- local housing officer
- welfare rights officer
- citizens advice worker
- an advocate
When you phone the social care department, you’ll be asked questions to find out how urgent your needs are. Depending on urgency you may get help immediately, before the assessment of your care needs can be arranged. This doesn’t take the place of a full assessment of your care needs, which you’ll get at a later date.
Visits are carried out in order of priority of need. If your needs aren’t urgent, you may have to wait for a few weeks for your assessment.
What happens during an assessment
The care professional carrying out your assessment will arrange to visit you and ask questions to help them understand:
- things you have difficulty in doing
- what you’d like to be able to do
- the help that you already get from family, friends or other carers
- what your care needs are
- how suitable your home is for your needs
- if you have any specialist needs due to a disability or health conditions
- any risks to your health and wellbeing if you don’t get appropriate support
The care professional will talk to you about what matters most to you and help look at ways of achieving these outcomes.
They’ll fill in forms with the information you give and ask you to sign them, you will also be asked to sign a form giving your consent for information to be shared with other professionals.
The assessment may involve more than one visit. All of the information will go into creating your care plan, which sets out how your needs may be met.
What support could I be eligible for?
- personal care
- meals on wheels or frozen meals delivery
- laundry, like washing and ironing in your home or a laundrette
- equipment and adaptions, like telehealthcare and home improvements
- short or long-term stays in residential care
- short breaks for you and/or your carer
Care Home Services in Wales
Care homes divide into broadly two types, residential and nursing. Your social worker will help you identify which sort is appropriate for your needs:
- Residential care homes provide only social care staff; residential care homes do not provide any nursing staff and so medical care should be provided by NHS staff coming to the home when necessary.
- Nursing homes are for people who have specific nursing needs and they employ a mixture of social care and nursing staff.
If you think you or the person you care for may need to move into a care home, contact the social care department who can help you to:
- decide whether you should really move to a care home
- find a suitable home
- understand your eligibility for financial support, including free nursing and personal care
Care Home Placements
Your local social care department can help you to find a care home even if you plan to fund your own place, they will provide you with a list of suitable care homes, and even help to arrange a visit.
You should have a choice of different care homes, but the following may limit what is available to you.
- availability of suitable local accommodation that meets your assessed needs
- cost to the local council (if it’s paying towards your care) compared to what they usually pay for comparable services in the area
- whether accommodation is available
- if the care home is willing to provide accommodation
It’s worth bearing in mind that a recent market report listed the average costs of Care Homes as £801 a week for Nursing Homes in Wales, and £607 a week for Residential Care Homes in Wales.
Home Care in Wales
Home care (sometimes called home help or home support) is help provided in your own home to help you keep your independence.
It may involve regular visits from a home care worker and social care, health and housing services like:
- general cleaning, heavy housework, laundry and gardening
- personal care
- meals on wheels or frozen meals delivery
- collecting pensions and prescriptions
- paying bills
- equipment and adaptions, like telecare and home improvements for
- reablement – this usually lasts up to 6 weeks and means you’ll get personalized care to help you live independently at home
Social care at home in Wales is not free, but the Welsh Government caps the amount you can be charged for home care services. Local authorities cannot charge you more than £90 a week for care at home in Wales.
The care package laid out by your care needs assessment may include care from one or both of these categories:
- personal care – qualified care assistants provide support with washing, dressing, dining and socialising
- nursing care – registered nurses provide support in the same areas, as well as with specialist medical requirements
You should budget at least £30,000 per year for full-time care during the day, according to the Money Advice Service. Again, this will vary depending on where you live and the type of care you require, as well as when it’s required.
Care when coming out of hospital
Planning for leaving hospital should begin as early as possible during your stay in hospital, sometimes even before you’re admitted if the procedure/ treatment is elective.
A hospital discharge plan should include:
- the name of the member of staff at the hospital who’s responsible for checking you’re discharged properly
- arrangements for an assessment of your care needs, if necessary
- details of any support, help, equipment or adaptations which are to be set up at your home before discharge, and information about who is responsible for providing these (with an idea of timescales)
- details of any contacts to be made to the community health services, such as GP, district nurse or social worker
- it may also include some form of reablement plan
You can ask for a copy of your discharge plan, and so can your carer or representative – if you have one – with your permission.
The following will be likely involved in discharge planning:
- Nurse in charge
- Consultant dealing with your case
- Discharge Coordinator
- Hospital Pharmacist
Any healthcare needs or equipment that should be met at home will be provided for by your local health centre this may include visits from a nurse to change any dressings you may have, although some health services are provided from the hospital, like home visits from a physiotherapist or speech therapist.
Financial Assessments and Paying for Care in Wales
If you need to move into a residential care home, your local council will decide whether you have to make a contribution towards the fees. They will make their decision based on an assessment looking at your income, capital and savings.
In Wales, as of 2019, if you have more than £50,000 in savings or capital assets (including the value of your home) then you will typically have to pay the fees for your care home in full.
What about Nursing Care?
If you live in a care home that provides nursing care, the NHS will normally contribute towards the fees to cover the cost of the nursing element. The amount that can be paid may vary according to which local area health board you come under.
Funding your Care
If you own your own home and you move into a residential care home permanently, the council will ignore the value of your home for the first 12 weeks of your stay.
Afterwards they will usually include the value of your home when working out whether you have to pay care home fees. This means that you might be over the financial limit and you will have to sell your home. The council may place a charge on your home so that they can ensure your fees get paid when you sell your home.
The council may also decide to charge you interest for this 12 week period, however they will ignore the value of your home on working these costs out if any of the following people are living in either the whole or part of it:
- your partner (husband, wife, civil partner or someone you live with as though you are married or civil partners)
- a family member or relative who is aged 60 years or over
- a family member or relative who is incapacitated, for example, someone with a disability
- one of your children (including adopted children) who is under 18, and you are liable to maintain
- a former partner who is divorced or estranged from you, but who is a lone parent with a dependent child.
The payment of care home fees is a complex subject and depends on many things which are unique to you.
If you need more detailed personal advice about funding your care you can ask experienced independent advisers such as:
Carers Support in Wales
What constitutes a Carer?
A carer is anyone who, without formal pay, looks after a friend or family member who can’t cope alone due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction.
Carers support in a number of different ways, including:
- practical tasks like cooking, housework and shopping
- physical support like lifting, helping someone on stairs or with physiotherapy
- personal care like washing, dressing and helping with toileting needs
- managing household budgets
- collecting benefits and prescriptions
- giving medication
- emotional support
Support Available to Carers in Wales
The various types of support that you may be entitled to as a carer in Wales are outlined below:
This is the main form of financial benefit available to carers. To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you must be over 16 years of age and:
- Care for someone who is receiving a qualifying disability benefit, for at least 35 hours a week
- Be resident in the UK
- Should earn £110 or less per week after deductions
- Not be in receipt of certain benefits. (Some benefits however may entitle you to an extra premium on top of your carer’s allowance so please take advice before claiming)
- Not in full time education
Employment rights for Carers
It’s difficult sometimes to combine caring for a loved one, with having a job. Some carers even have to give up working in order to care for someone full time. It is for this reason that as part of the Work and Families Act 2006, and the Employment Rights Act 1996, carers who are employees have the right to flexible working hours and time off at short notice.
Your local council has a responsibility to ensure that your duties as a carer do not interfere with your education, development, and overall quality of life. They must also ensure that you do not become trapped in your role as a carer.
For further information on Carers and the help on offer, click on the websites below:
Carers Wales – help individuals that care for their family or friends
Gov.uk – provides information on a number of topics relating to carers and the help available
Young Carers – a website where young carers can chat to other young carers, share their stories and get support
Welsh Government, Carers – provides information on carers and the support available
Young Carers Tool Kit – aimed at professionals across Health, Education and Social Services
Carers Rights Guide – the Carers Rights Guide is here to outline your rights as a carer. It is designed to give you the full picture of the practical and financial support available.
Carer’s Allowance – carer’s allowance is the main benefit for carers.
Working with carers – information on social care legislation in Wales.
Upfront – this is a simple tool for carers who are new to the maze of benefits and entitlements. Fill in your details, spend a couple of minutes answering questions and we’ll guide you to the information you need.
Dewis Cymru – looking after friends and family