What is a social care assessment?

When you contact Tower Hamlets Connect, we will talk to you about the help and advice you need and, if necessary, arrange a more detailed conversation - your assessment.

An assessment is used to help Adult Social Care understand your situation,. It is used to make decisions about what kind of support and services to offer you.

Your assessment

Everyone has different needs, so each assessment should be different. Your assessment should be led by you, at your own pace, and the process must be flexible and adapted to meet your needs. We can arrange independent support - advocacy -  if you need help with this.

We recognise that you may not need council-funded support to meet all your needs. Many issues can be resolved in a different way, and we will support you to identify those ways. The council has a legal duty to ensure that needs eligible for funding are met. Find out more:  Care Act 2014 criteria.

The law requires that your assessment starts with your own views about the needs you have to improve your wellbeing.

An assessment looks at:

  • Your situation: the issues you need help with and the impact those issues are having on your wellbeing. We want to understand all the issues you need help with so that we can decide how best to support you.
  • What is already working to address your situation: how you help yourself and how others - friends, family members or other organisations - are helping you now or in future.
  • What needs to happen or change: what you want to achieve and what needs to be put in place to enable this to happen.
  • Decides your needs: the assessment will set out your situation and what is important to you. It will consider a range of options and may include support from your family, friends and the local community.

Next steps

We will visit you to carry out your assessment.  If we are unable to visit straight away and your situation is urgent, we will arrange short term support in the meantime.

If a family member or friend cares for you regularly, it may be helpful for them to be there for your assessment. They can also have a carer’s assessment separately. We will also consult any paid carers who may be providing support.

The person assessing you will visit you at home or in hospital and ask you and your carer about:

  • your health and any difficulties this causes
  • your current living and care arrangements and what you are able to do for yourself
  • any concerns about your safety and wellbeing
  • what is important to you in your life
  • any specific care requirements you may have.

Your assessor may need to contact other professionals to discuss your situation, but will get your permission before doing so, unless there is an imminent risk to your health or safety.

Assessment timeline

Our aim is that you will wait no longer than 28 working days for an assessment to begin.

  • We will :
    • aim to contact you within five days of being contacted by you or someone on your behalf. If your query is urgent we will aim to contact you the same day
    • keep you informed as to what is happening at all stages of your assessment
    • aim to complete all assessments within 28 working days of us visiting you
    • always tell you what course of action we propose and which team we will refer you to if you need council support.
  • If you need:
    • a home visit for an initial assessment we will make an appointment within 10 working days
    • a full assessment, we will give you an indication of how long it is likely to take before it happens, taking into account the urgency of your situation
    •  a care and support plan, it will be completed within 28 working days of your assessment unless your personal circumstances prevent us from doing so.

You will be provided with information and advice about services within the community appropriate to you. If we pass your enquiry on to another department, we will give them your details so you don’t have to repeat anything.

Paying for your assessment and services

Assessments do not cost. Some services do have a cost; we will carry out a financial assessment to see if you have to pay and how much.

Whether or not you have to pay, you will receive a yearly statement to keep you informed about the cost of your care. 

Your Care Plan and Support Plan

Your assessment could also include solutions which require council funding. These will be pulled together into a Care and Support Plan.

You will be provided with a copy of your assessment and the care and support plan and will be asked to sign confirming you have received it.

Each year we will contact you to check whether your plan is still meeting your needs. This is called a Review, but you can always contact us in the meantime should your situation change.

Funding your plan

If your solutions do require council funding, you will receive a personal budget.  You may choose whether you wish the local authority to manage your care package or whether you would prefer a direct payment.

Direct payments can give individuals more control over their care and support. They allow the recipient to decide how their needs are met and buy the support that suits them best.

Carer's assessment

If you care for someone, a separate carers assessment is available. More details can be found on the Support  for carers page.

If you're unhappy with our decision

If you do not agree with the decision, you should discuss the matter with the member of staff who conducted your assessment in the first instance. If you are still not happy you can ask their manager to review the decision.

If you have a complaint about the way your assessment was conducted you can contact the Complaints Officer at the council by emailing, phoning or writing to us. 

Complete the Adult social care complaints form.