Looking for care or support?

If you have a long term health condition or disability and are finding it difficult to cope with everyday living tasks, then you may need some additional support to help you. It might be easy to identify the care and support you need, or you may need some help to do this. You should speak with people who know you well to see what support they think you need – they may notice areas where you need help that you hadn’t thought about.

Once you’ve thought about the areas you need help with, there are lots of ways to find that support. You can use this Directory and the free, independent helpline (call 0800 389 2077), or speak to other people who have help and support currently, and you can also contact the Council’s Health and Wellbeing Service based at the Tameside Carers Centre on 0161 342 3344.

Sometimes, however, the care and support you need will be more complex. This is when we may be able to help you. However, we will need to check whether you’re eligible for a service by assessing your care needs and finances.

Tameside Council has to use the resources it has available in a fair and equitable way to help people with the greatest needs. We do this by using guidance called The Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) criteria. Care managers use the criteria to make sure that they treat everyone fairly and that people who meet the criteria for help receive the appropriate level of care and support.

Tameside Council’s eligibility criteria are based on the legal requirements set down in Government guidance. We currently provide services for people who fall within the ‘critical’ and ‘substantial’ categories of the FACS criteria. However even if you do not meet the eligibility criteria we will advise you on a range of services that may be able to meet your needs and signpost you to our Wellbeing Advisers based at the Carers Centre who will be able to offer you more help and advice.

Tameside Health and Wellbeing Service based at the Carers Centre in Ashton Under Lyne provides an early intervention service as a means of providing adults in Tameside who do not meet the FACS eligibility criteria for social care services with access to high quality support and information when they need it. Our Wellbeing Advisers are able to offer an Early Intervention Assessment (EIA), which identifies the level of support required by an individual. Our Wellbeing Advisers have an awareness of, and access to, a wide range of information on community based services, and following an EIA and a co-produced support plan, are able to signpost individuals to the appropriate services.

Our Wellbeing Advisers support adults and carers to access services across a range of settings with assessments being available at a variety of locations across the borough throughout the course of the week. Our assessments focus on what the individual wants to achieve to help them maintain their independence or continue in their caring role.

Our Wellbeing Advisers also work with carers to provide them with the opportunity to access high quality support and information when they need it, the Carers Centre carries or has access to a wide range of information and is able to signpost or refer carers to appropriate services. The team supports carers to undertake their caring role by offering information, advice, support, advocacy and access to a variety of breaks.

When you contact Tameside Adult Services we will discuss with you:

  • the type of help that you feel you may need;
  • when you feel it may be needed;
  • who else is available to help you; and
  • any specific needs you may have including any religious and cultural needs.

Depending upon the information that you give us, we will decide with you what the best course of action will be and inform you what will happen next.

Tameside Adult Services aims to help you live independently in your home for as long as possible. To help you achieve this and to decide whether you are eligible for services we will ask you questions about your circumstances and the things you need to maintain your independence – this is called an ‘assessment’.

Everyone is entitled to a free Community Care Assessment. The assessment determines what care and support needs you have and whether they can be met by Adult Services or elsewhere.

If it is determined that you are not eligible for support from Adult Services, we will aim to help you find other ways of meeting your needs by redirecting you to other organisations, by helping you to maximise your own resources or by simply offering help and advice.

The Assessment begins by asking a number of questions about you, your family support and your life. It will include discussing your:

  • health – including mental health, physical disability, sensory impairments, for example your eyesight and hearing and mobility, such as how far you can walk, can you manage the stairs to get to bed;
  • personal care or activities of daily living, home environment and where you live;
  • social support and relationships including if you have someone who helps care for you;
  • involvement in work, education and learning; and
  • general wellbeing (including being safe from neglect or harm).

If you have a carer they will also be offered an assessment of their needs.

We often need to take advice from health professionals. If you have other people involved in your care and support for example, your doctor, district nurse or occupational therapist, we will talk to them to gain a complete understanding of your needs.

During the course of your assessment, it may be determined that in order to understand your needs better we will require you to have a short period of home care reablement which is a Council service that tries to keep people as independent as possible by supporting them with everyday tasks such as getting dressed, food preparation, having a bath or shower etc. Reablement is used as part of the assessment process so that we can be clear what your on-going need for support actually is and what the best way of meeting your needs will be.

Once your assessment has been completed you will be asked to agree to the details contained within it and once you have agreed, we can then discuss with you the types of care and support that are available to help you.

Planning your support
Services come in many different shapes and sizes. Some will suit you more than others and there may be more on offer than you expect.

Social care services are not simply split between home care and residential care. There are lots of other services available in the community in which you live such as sheltered housing or extra care housing. These can help you stay as independent as possible, with additional support available when you need it.

Help within your home is also available and may include the use of new technologies such as a pendant alarm or other devices designed to keep people safe including falls detectors, intruder alarms, flood, gas or smoke detectors.

Other help may include additional equipment or adaptations within your home to make life as easy and comfortable as possible.

In agreeing a support plan with you we will look at the needs that have been identified in your assessment and then discuss with you what services are available to help you meet your needs. We will agree how much it will cost to provide the care identified and this is known as your personal budget. You can decide how to spend your personal budget but it does need to be spent on meeting your needs and achieving the desired outcomes for making you as independent as possible.

Direct Payments
Once your support plan and personal budget has been agreed with you, you will be offered the opportunity to take the budget as a cash payment known as a Direct Payment. This is a sum of money paid to you either as a one off payment or regular monthly payment that has been identified as sufficient to buy the help and support required to meet your assessed needs and outcomes.

You can choose to spend your Direct Payment as you like, however there are some rules and conditions that you will be expected to follow which will be explained to you when you are considering your options.

You may not want to consider taking a Direct Payment at the start of your support being planned and delivered, however you can decide at any time to take a Direct Payment for some or all of your assessed personal budget. People who decide to take a Direct Payment can choose to employ their own care worker(s) known as Personal Assistants (PA) or contract with a care agency.

Some people may not be able to take the responsibility of managing their own personal budget and if you would require on-going support there are ways that this can be arranged. This will be explained to you if you are considering a Direct Payment.