Getting care and support

Getting adult social care support


In this section you can find out:

Working out what help you need

If you have any care or support needs you can ask us for a needs assessment.

The assessment will look at both your physical, mental and emotional needs. You might need help to get dressed or just an extra stair rail, but we'll also find out what's important to you, such as being able to carry on working or volunteering, or being able to meet your friends.

A trained person will chat to you about your needs and the sort of help you could benefit from. 

General adult social care enquiries

Complete a self assessment >>

Getting a care needs assessment

The purpose of a care needs assessment is to:

  • discuss your situation
  • understand what your needs are
  • help you to consider your own wellbeing
  • find out how you can remain as independent as possible for as long as possible

You can ask for an assessment for yourself, including if you are caring for someone, or on behalf of someone else.

We will advise you on services or support that can help you based on the information you provide.

If you need an assessment for someone over 18 

You can complete a self assessment if you or the person you are caring for is over 18. 

Complete a carer self assessment >>

If you're a carer 

As a carer, you're also entitled to an assessment. 

Ask us about adult social care >>

Contact us 

If you have any questions about the assessment, please call 0300 300 8303.

Customer Service Team
Central Bedfordshire Council
Watling House
High Street North

What happens at your care needs assessment 

We will try to obtain a complete picture of your life and discuss your strengths; what is working well for you now and what your needs are.

In many cases, we will be able to provide information, advice and guidance to help you identify the services and support that you can arrange yourself.

In some circumstances, we may recommend that you have a period of reablement or short-term support before making longer-term arrangements.

In an emergency, we will make sure that you have the help that you need.

If we need to do a more detailed assessment, we will arrange an appointment with you. This is normally at your home.

We will discuss your situation, including:

  • your personal care (like washing and getting dressed)
  • household tasks
  • health
  • accommodation situation
  • emotional needs and social activities

If you are caring for someone, we will also ask you about how caring affects your day-to-day life and things that you would like to achieve including work, education and social activities.

You can have someone with you at the assessment. They can speak on your behalf and represent your interests – called an advocate.

View more about independent advocacy, including a list of organisations who provide this service.

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Eligibility criteria

After an assessment, we will decide if you are eligible for care and support.

All councils use the same criteria to decide who qualifies for social care services. This is set by the government.

The national eligibility threshold for carers consists of 3 criteria, all of which must be met for a person’s needs.

The eligibility threshold is based on identifying:

  • whether a person’s needs are due to a physical or mental impairment or illness
  • to what extent a person’s needs affect their ability to achieve 2 or more specified outcomes
  • to what extent this impacts on their wellbeing 

Firstly, we will consider whether your needs are due to a physical or mental impairment or illness.

This includes the following types of conditions:

  • physical
  • mental
  • sensory
  • learning / cognitive disabilities or illnesses
  • brain injuries
  • substance misuse

If you have needs caused by physical or mental impairment or illness, we will consider whether this affects your ability to achieve 2 or more of the following specified outcomes:

  • managing and maintaining nutrition - access to food and drink to maintain nutrition, and that you are able to prepare and consume the food and drink
  • maintaining personal hygiene - your ability to wash yourself and launder your clothes
  • managing toilet needs – your ability to access and use a toilet and manage your toilet needs 
  • being appropriately clothed - your ability to dress yourself and to be appropriately dressed, for instance, in relation to the weather, to maintain your health
  • being able to make use of your home safely - your ability to move around your home safely, including getting up steps, using kitchen facilities or accessing the bathroom. This should also include the immediate environment around the home such as access to the property
  • maintaining a habitable home - the condition of your home is sufficiently clean and maintained to be safe. A habitable home is safe and has essential amenities
  • developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships – are you lonely or isolated, either because your needs prevent you from maintaining the personal relationships you have or because your needs prevent you from developing new relationships
  • accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering – do you have an opportunity to apply yourself and contribute to society through work, training, education or volunteering if you want to
  • making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community - your ability to get around in the community safely and your ability to use facilities such as public transport, shops or recreational facilities
  • carrying out any caring responsibilities - any parenting or other caring responsibilities you have

Being 'unable to achieve' these specified outcomes includes circumstances where you are:

  • unable to achieve the outcome without assistance or prompting / reminding
  • able to achieve the outcome without assistance, but doing so causes you significant pain, distress or anxiety
  • able to achieve the outcome without assistance, but doing so endangers or is likely to endanger your health or safety or the health and safety of others
  • able to achieve the outcome without assistance but it takes you significantly longer than would normally be expected

Finally, we will consider whether, because of not being able to achieve 2 or more of the specified outcomes there is (or is likely to be) a significant impact on your wellbeing.

We will consider the impact on your:

  • personal dignity
  • physical and mental health
  • protection from abuse and neglect
  • control over your own day-to-day life
  • participation in work, education, training or recreation
  • social and economic wellbeing
  • domestic, family and personal relationships
  • suitability of living accommodation
  • your contribution to society

In making this judgement, we will look to understand your needs in the context of what is important to you.

The impact of needs may be different for different people, because what is important for one person’s wellbeing may not be the same for someone else.

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What happens after your care needs assessment?

You will receive a written copy of your assessment.

After your assessment, we will decide if you are eligible for care and support.

If you are not eligible, we will provide you with information and advice on what can be done to meet or reduce your needs and what can be done to prevent or delay the development of needs in the future.

This may include information about other organisations that may be able to help you and any other support you might find useful.

If you have some eligible needs, we will agree with you which of your needs you would like us to meet and consider how we can help.

If you have eligible needs and want adult social care help to arrange support, we will work with you to develop a Care and Support Plan.

Care and support plan

A care and support plan documents your needs from the assessment and includes:

  • how they will be met
  • who will meet them
  • how much it will cost

We will involve you in this and explain your options. We want to make sure the support we provide helps you to remain healthy and happy.

We have to agree your care and support plan. It will include:

  • whether these needs meet the eligibility criteria
  • the needs we will meet and how we will do it
  • your desired outcomes – the things you wish to achieve in daily life
  • your personal budget
  • information and advice on what can be done to reduce your needs and to prevent or delay the development of needs in the future
  • direct payments – details of the needs to be met by a direct payment and the amount and frequency of the payments

This easy read support-planning booklet (PDF 444.4KB) explains in simple terms the various elements that make up a care and support plan.

Challenging the assessment

If you feel that the information we have used is incorrect, or you have forgotten to tell us something, please let us know straight away.

Contact our customer service team on 0300 300 8303.

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