Getting support from the Council

What is a needs assessment?

An assessment is a discussion between an adult who may need support and an Adult Social Care employee, usually a social worker or social care assessment officer.This discussion can take place face to face, or over the phone. You can also choose to complete a supported self-assessment.There is more information on this option below.

Online option

Request an assessment online
Before you request an assessment, make sure you've read the information below.

What is the purpose of an assessment?

An assessment has a number of purposes:

  • To establish a full picture of a person's circumstances and wishes
  • To establish whether a person has needs that meet the national eligiblity threshold
  • To generate a personal budget (an amount of money which can be used to help meet needs)


We apply a three-stage test of eligiblity.This is a national threshold, set out by the government.

1. Do the adult's need 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 the specified outcomes (listed below)

  • 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. In addition to this,

As a consequence of being unable to achieve these outcomes there is, or there is likely to be, a signficant impact on the adult's wellbeing.

Before your assessment

When you contact us, we will always check to see if we can help you without carrying out a full assessment.This is because it is important to help people to be as independent as possible, and also because this is what the law requires.For example, we might suggest a short-term service such as reablement.This is a home care service aimed at assisting people to regain skills and confidence. We will send out a copy of the assessment beforehand, so that you can consider what you would like to discuss.

What happens during an assessment?

During the assessment, we will ask you about how you manage on a day to day basis. We will cover tasks such as:

  • your daily routines
  • personal care
  • meals
  • looking after your home
  • getting out and about
  • looking after your children
  • socialising

We will try to understand how any difficulties are impacting on your wellbeing.

We will also consider whether you might be eligible for NHS continuing care funding. Please go the NHS Choices website for more information about this.


We can send you out a copy of the assessment document for you to complete and return to us. We may still need to clarify some details in your assessment to ensure we have all the right information and to decide if you have eligible needs.

Support during an assessment

You may prefer to have someone with you during the assessment - maybe a family member or friend. If you need assistance with the assessment, and have no one who is appropriate to help, we can arrange for an independent person, called an advocate, to be present.An advocate is a person who is specially trained to support an individual through the process of assessment and arranging care and support.

After the assessment

A decision will be made about eligibility for care and support. If we think you do not meet the eligibility threshold, we will explain to you fully in writing why this is. If you do not have eligible needs, we will give you information and advice which we think will help you. For example, we might tell you about other sources of help in your area.

If we decide that you have eligible needs, the allocated worker will talk to you about the next steps.You may need to have some support right away, if you are experiencing urgent problems. Otherwise, you can talk to a worker about how you can use your allocated budget. Please see the Planning Your Care and Support section for more information on this. We will also arrange for you to have a financial assessment, to establish how much you will need to contribute towards the cost of your support. See our information on Charges for Care and Support.