Adult care needs assessment

Many people are able to stay safe, well and independent without needing care and support. We recommend that you explore options such as equipment and technology and community help, below, first.

If you have tried other ways to stay independent and still need further support, the first step is to contact us for a conversation. We may suggest that you have a social care needs assessment.

A social care needs assessment looks at your strengths and your needs and identifies what support may help you.

This includes information and advice to help you remain independent for as long as possible, and care and support, where appropriate.

You may be referred to us for social care needs assessment by a professional such as a GP. You can also contact us yourself, or ask a relative or friend to do it for you.

In order to be eligible for an assessment we need to confirm:

  • you are over 18 years old,
  • appear to require care and support, and
  • are ordinarily a resident of Cambridgeshire.

The aim of the assessment is to identify what needs you may have and what outcomes you are looking to achieve to maintain or improve your wellbeing. An assessment looks in detail at your situation and what is important to you. It helps us understand your strengths and abilities and what care and support you might need to stay independent, safe and well. Together, if one is needed, we can work out a care and support plan.

The assessor will either complete your assessment with you, or you can be supported to complete it yourself. It is a two way conversation. With your permission, we might ask the opinion of other professionals who know and work with you. We will also take account of the needs of your family or carer and assess them separately if they ask us to.

The assessment will focus on:

  • exploring your current circumstances
  • your strengths and abilities
  • what's working well
  • what's not working so well
  • what you would like to change or achieve
  • if you need any help what help you need

Any information you give us will be treated as confidential. It will not be shared with anyone else without your permission - other than in exceptional circumstances where the law says we must show it to someone else.

The assessment considers a number of areas of your life, which include your current situation and what has lead you to your assessment:

  • your health
  • your safety
  • your physical abilities
  • your mental health
  • how you look after yourself on a daily basis
  • your involvement in your community
  • who supports you, if anyone
  • what your needs are

It will bring together a summary of your needs and the outcomes you want to achieve. The assessor will look at whether there are any risks to you and your wellbeing and agree with you how they can be best managed. They will also look at how to help you prevent and delay the need for care and support. They will give you their professional opinion and following the assessment, your assessor will determine whether you are eligible for support from the Council.

In order to determine whether you are eligible for social care support from the council we have to look at all the information in your assessment and follow the eligibility criteria set out by the Care Act.

The Care Act 2014 says ‘In considering whether an adult with care and support needs has eligible needs, local authorities must consider whether:

  • the adult’s needs arise from or are related to a physical or mental impairment or illness
  • as a result of the adult’s needs the adult is unable to achieve two or more of the specified outcomes
  • as a consequence of being unable to achieve these outcomes there is, or there is likely to be, a significant impact on the adult’s wellbeing

An adult’s needs are only eligible where they meet all three of these conditions.

If you have assets and/or savings of more than £23,250 you will have to pay the full costs of your care. If you have assets and/or savings between £14,250 and £23,250, you are likely to have to pay for some of your care.

If you are eligible for support we will ask you to complete a financial assessment questionnaire. This will help us work out how much you can afford to pay towards your care.

We can arrange a personal budget for you, which is the total amount of money needed to provide the activities recorded in your care and support plan, including the amount the Council will pay and the amount you will need to pay.

Your personal budget can be paid either directly to you as a Direct Payment or can be managed by us or by other specialist organisations on your behalf.

If you are paying for all of your own support we can still give you advice and help you to organise your care.

If you have to pay for the full cost of your care and ask us to arrange your home and community care for you, we will charge an annual, recurring arrangement fee of £400 to organise this on your behalf.

Find out more about organising care and support.

If you are sourcing care privately we would recommend that you find an agency through the Guide to Independent Living from Care Choices, working in partnership with us and/or NHS Choices, to find suitable care and check it meets national standards. The Care Quality Commission website can tell you about providers’ standards of quality and safety.

If you arrange your own care and support, you do not need to be assessed by the council. If we are funding your care, we must be involved in arranging it.

Even if you are not eligible for financial help from us and are therefore paying the full costs of your care, you may still contact us to ask us arrange any non-residential services for you. In this case, we will charge an administration fee that covers our costs of doing this on your behalf.

Find out more about types of care.

Your social care records and your rights350KBpdf
Updated May 2022
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Contact us

Telephone: 0345 045 5202
8am to 6pm Monday to Friday
9am to 1pm on Saturday