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Frequently Asked Questions > FAQ > What is a Community Care Assessment?

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Before the local authority Social Services Department can assist the person you care for if you care for an adult, it must first carry out an assessment of what their care needs are. This assessment may be referred to as a needs assessment or a care assessment or a community care assessment.

In the past, local authorities might have carried out assessments independently of other organisations such as health agencies that might also have responsibility towards you or the person you care for. The Government is encouraging the agencies responsible for assessing social care, health, housing and other needs to work together to reduce the number of times that people have to give the same information in assessments. Local authorities and local health bodies should have introduced procedures for sharing information so that you do not have to give your basic details more than once, however this is not always the case.

After the care assessment, the local authority will decide whether or not it should provide or arrange community care services for you under its eligibility criteria. Eligibility criteria are locally set rules on what type of needs the local authority will meet. Each authority sets its own eligibility criteria but these should comply with Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) guidance, issued by the Government to promote fairness and consistency in eligibility criteria and assessment processes.

Having established that it should arrange or provide services for you, the local authority will usually then carry out a financial assessment to establish how much you should contribute towards the cost of those services. The person from the local authority who assesses you should make any health needs known to your family doctor (GP) or to another member of the primary care team such as a district nurse, chiropodist or physiotherapist. If you only need health care, you should approach your family doctor or other health worker.

Last updated on April 9, 2012 by Devon Carers