If you feel that you, or someone you care for needs social care, contact us and ask for support.

Once you have asked us for support we will contact you, and if necessary, we will carry out an assessment of your (or their) social care needs.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. How do I get an assessment

If you require an assessment please contact us.

You can:

  • ask someone else, such as a friend, relative, your carer or your GP to contact us for you
  • speak to a nurse or social worker if you are in hospital
  • contact us directly yourself.

By phone

Call us at the Lambeth service centre on 020 7926 5555. We will put you through to the team most able to help you. To help us put you through as quickly as possible it would be helpful if you could provide the following information:

  • the name and address of your GP
  • your address
  • your date of birth.
  • your contact telephone / mobile number
  • your email address

Please note that calls to us may be monitored or recorded.

In person

Visit us in person at Brixton customer centre to discuss your needs.

2. What happens next

Once you have asked us for support, we will contact you, and if necessary, we will carry out an assessment of your care and support needs.

An assessment is an opportunity for you to let us know what difficulties you have and what help you feel you need.

We will then provide services according to your assessed needs.

If we do not offer you an assessment of your care and support needs, we will contact you to explain why.

3. Who can use this service

The eligibility threshold for adults with care and support needs is set out in the Care and Support (Eligibility Criteria) Regulations 2014 (the ‘Eligibility Regulations’).
The threshold is based on identifying how your needs affect your ability to achieve relevant outcomes, and how this impacts on your health and wellbeing.

For more information about how we work out which services you will require please see our eligibility criteria:

4. Eligibility for Adults

In considering whether an adult with care and support needs has eligible needs, there are three conditions that must be met.

1 The adult’s needs arise from or are related to a physical or mental impairment or illness.

2 As a result of the adult’s needs the adult is unable to achieve two or more of these outcomes:

  • managing and maintaining nutrition
  • maintaining personal hygiene
  • managing toilet needs
  • being appropriately clothed
  • being able to make use of the home safely
  • maintaining a habitable home environment
  • developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships
  • accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
  • making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport and recreational facilities or services
  • carrying out any caring responsibilities the adult has for a child

3 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.

5. Eligibility for Carers

In considering whether a carer has eligible needs, there are three conditions that must be met.

1 The needs arise as a consequence of providing necessary care for an adult

2 As a result of the carers needs either:
the carer’s physical or mental health is, or is at risk of, deteriorating because of their caring role the carer is unable to achieve any one, or more, of these outcomes:

  • carrying out any caring responsibilities the carer has for a child
  • providing care to other persons for whom the carer provides care
  • maintaining a habitable home environment in the carer’s home, whether or not this is also the home of the adult needing care
  • managing and maintaining nutrition
  • developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships
  • engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
  • making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community, including recreational facilities or services
  • engaging in recreational activities.

3 As a consequence of that fact there is, or there is likely to be, a significant impact on the carer’s wellbeing.

6. Care and support needs assessment

What is an assessment?

A care and support needs assessment (also called a needs assessment) is an opportunity for you to tell us about your circumstances and discuss your care and support needs.

An assessment involves us talking to you and those involved in your care to get an understanding of your current situation to determine what help, if any, we can provide to you.

All the information you provide will be recorded and we may share some of the information with our partners, such as the NHS which will help us to plan the support we may offer.

The aim is to reach an agreement about what help can be provided by adult social care services.

During the assessment, a social worker will ask how you are managing to take care of yourself and what help you feel you may need.

If necessary, staff such as health workers may also be involved in your assessment.

You are welcome to invite someone along to the assessment.

The discussion may include:

  • what care tasks can you do for yourself?
  • what care tasks do you need help with?
  • what care tasks can you not do at all?
  • what help do you have at present?
  • what is the best way to provide the help you need?

We only ask those questions which are necessary to decide what help you need.

Carers are entitled to a separate assessment of their support needs in their own right.

Your views

You play an essential part in a care and support needs assessment. It is very important that we know what your views and wishes are.

With your permission, we will take into account the views of your family, friends and other people who know your circumstances, such as your GP.

We are committed to meeting the needs of our diverse communities.

We aim to provide services in a way that takes account of your views and which are appropriate to your cultural and ethnic background.

7. Timescales for a care and support needs assessment

We receive requests for care and support needs assessments from a large number of people.
We give priority to those people in most urgent need.

  • we will acknowledge your request for a care and support needs assessment within five working days of receiving the request
  • we will begin your assessment within 30 working days of receiving your request
  • if it is likely that you will have to wait more than a further four weeks for the start of care and support needs assessment, a full explanation of the reasons for the delay will be given.

The time taken to complete an assessment will vary depending on your situation and the complexity of the help you need.

In emergency situations, where someone is considered to be at great risk, assessment will begin no more than eight hours after referral, and the above time scales will not apply.

8. Decision making process

After we have assessed your needs, we will aim to be clear with you about what services we will arrange.

Resources are limited and we must ensure that arranging care and support for the most vulnerable and frail people in our community comes first.

This may mean that we cannot always provide all the services we would like or always meet your care and support needs in the way you prefer.

We decide how best to provide services to the whole community by using the eligibility criteria.

We give priority for care to those people whose needs are most dependent.

This includes:

  • people who live alone and are vulnerable
  • people who cannot manage without care from other people
  • people being discharged from hospital who need care and support once they return home.

Therefore, in deciding how best your needs can be met, we take into account:

  • your views and the views of those who care and support you
  • the types of care and support services available where you live
  • the costs of the various social care services
  • eligibility criteria.

For adults Care-support-needs-assessment
For carers Care-support-needs-assessment

Please remember - these are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Each person will always be considered as an individual. Your specific needs and circumstances will always be taken into account.

9. Care / Support plans

Once it has been agreed that we will be arranging care for you, we will make out a list of services that we are going to arrange. We will write these arrangements in a care / support plan.

The care / support plan will give details of:

  • the services you will get
  • the names of the organisations which will provide the services
  • when and how often you will get the services
  • the names of the members of staff responsible for making sure that you get the services
  • the date when the services will be reviewed, to check whether your needs are being met or whether the services need to be changed
  • details of care and support needs which cannot be met and the reasons why they cannot be met
  • what to do if you are not happy with the service.

We will give you a copy of the care / support plan and discuss it with you.