A care needs assessment aims to establish someone’s strengths, needs and goals on an individualised level. It focuses on what your elderly relative can currently achieve and what they need to be able to do in order to live safely and comfortably in their home. This allows the council to determine how much they are able to help. The following page will detail all you’ll need to know about booking a care needs assessment in Norfolk, including the relevant links and contact details.
In some cases, the council will be able to fund the care that is deemed necessary following a care needs assessment. This is a means-tested decision based on a financial assessment, which will be carried out after the care needs assessment.
You can also take part in a Carer’s Assessment that aims to establish how much the council is able to assist you in your caring role. Caring for someone can be beyond a full time job in many cases, so understanding the support that is available to you is essential for making things as manageable as possible. For more information on carer’s assessments and services for carers, visit our Carer Support in Norfolk page.
How to Apply for a Care Needs Assessment in Norfolk
Booking a care needs assessment in Norfolk is not complicated, although it can take a while so it’s worth starting the process sooner rather than later. Your relative can either be referred by a GP or other healthcare professional, or you can get in touch with the council yourself for a self-referral. Below, we will talk you through the process, eligibility criteria and the following financial assessment.
Prior to contacting the council, it’s important to have all required information available to you to make the process as smooth as possible. This includes your relatives personal details, as well as an initial idea of the help required and how the council may be able to help. You can find the contact details of Norfolk County Council’s adult social care team below:
- Do you have a physical or mental impairment or illness?
- Does your illness or impairment mean you are unable to achieve two or more outcomes that are important to you?
- Is your wellbeing significantly affected as a consequence?
You can find out more about the specifics of these questions through our full Care Needs Assessment guide.
If the person in question does not fulfil any of the significant needs requirements, it is still possible to get help from your local community. You can make privately funded home adaptations for safer independent living, or use technology to help make life a little easier.
The Care Needs Process
If the council deem your relative eligible for a care needs assessment, they will have a conversation with your relative and anybody else involved in their care (such as yourself) that aims to consider what care and support they need and how this affects their wellbeing. Aspects explored will include:
- Considering what's important to your relative in how they live their life and what they'd like to achieve or how their wellbeing could be improved.
- Looking at what’s good in their life at the moment and who you is around to support them, such as friends and family.
- Providing information and advice that will help to make choices about care and support options.
- Assessing whether they are eligible for care and support from Adult Social Services.
- Looking at the type of care and support available that could meet their eligibility needs and how much this will cost.
Following this, the council will write to your relative with a copy of their assessment, explaining whether or not they are eligible and the reasons for the decision.
If they are eligible, the council will work with them to develop a care and support plan. If not, they will still provide you with information and advice about what care and support is available to help them locally. This could be help from community groups or voluntary organisations.
After the care assessment is complete and if it is found that your relative is eligible for support from the council, you will also need to fill in a Financial Assessment questionnaire. This will determine how much of the support can be paid for by the council and how much will need to be self funded.
This is fully determined by your relatives personal, financial situation. Some people pay the standard charge for the service they receive, whilst others pay a part of the cost and some make no financial contribution at all.
Following this process, the council will provide you with a personal budget towards your relative’s support costs, detailing how much they are able to contribute. The assessment takes into account lots of financial factors, but a general rule is that those who own over £23,250 in savings or capital will not be eligible for funding.
Please note, you can help your elderly relative complete the financial assessment but will need to have accurate details of their savings and investments, income, outgoings (such as mortgage and tax) and disability related costs.
You can find out more about financial assessments on the Age Space website and read into paying for care on the Norfolk County Council website. If you feel like you need financial and legal advice, especially if your family member is paying for all of their care, you can find out about Free Legal Advice in Norfolk.
What to do if you are unhappy with the result
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the Care Assessment for any reason, the first thing to do is to discuss this with your healthcare professional. This will enable you to talk things through with someone and help understand the decision.
If you are still unhappy with the result, you can contact Norfolk County Council to complain. You can do this by filling in the complaints form available on their website. After they have received your complaint, it will be allocated to a member of the complaints team, who will respond to you within five working days to let you know when you can expect to receive a response.
Adult social care support is usually reviewed after 6-12 weeks and annually following that. In some cases you can request an earlier review. If you feel an early review is necessary, you can contact Norfolk County Council’s adult social care team on: 0344 800 8020.