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Department of Health

Care Act 2014: How should local authorities deliver the care and support reforms? Please give us your views


Needs assessments and carer’s assessments

The assessment process is one of the most important elements of the care and support system. It is the first contact many people have with the system, and this must be a collaborative process that involves the person concerned.

The assessment must consider their needs and desired outcomes and how care and support could improve the wellbeing of the person.

In order to build a more consistent and supportive system, the Act imposes a duty for local authorities to carry out a needs assessment or carer’s assessment wherever it appears that an adult has needs for care and support, or a carer has needs for support. These assessment’s will be carried out regardless of the local authority’s view of the level of those needs or of the person’s financial resources.

The draft guidance on adult needs assessments and carer’s assessments, together with the draft Care and Support (Assessment) Regulations 2014 , cover:

  • the purpose of needs and carers’ assessments
  • approaches to conducting appropriate and proportionate assessments
  • what should be done to consider the impact of fluctuating needs, as well as the impact of needs on the whole family of the person being assessed
  • approaches to supported self- assessment, where the person themselves leads on aspects of the assessment process
  • the required training, knowledge and experience of assessors, including where specialist assessors are required
  • the relationship with the eligibility framework.

Read Factsheet 3: assessments and eligibility and
Factsheet 8: the law for carers

The regulations require all assessors to be appropriately trained. In addition, where the assessor is asked to carry out an assessment of an adult with a condition they have no experience in, they must consult a person with expertise in that condition.

Due to the complexities in assessing an adult who is deafblind, regulations require that a specialist assessor must carry out these assessments.

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