Carer Assessments explained
There is a completely separate assessment for the giver of the care called the carer assessment
This is different from the assessment for the person in need of care which is called the community care assessment. It is important that the local authority considers needs that are already being met or will be met by the carer when making a community care assessment
However, if you, as a carer, have your own need for community care services because of ill health or disability, you may also be eligible for your own community care assessment. One way to help ensure this is for the carer to ask for a carer’s assessment alongside a community care assessment
Unpaid carers over the age of 16 are entitled to an assessment of their own needs, if they are providing, or intending to provide, a substantial amount of care on a regular basis. This is based on the following acts:
-The Carers (Recognition and Support Services) Act 1995 enables carers to request an assessment of their own needs at the same time as the person they are caring for is being assessed.
-The Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 extends carers’ rights so that they can request an assessment of their own needs, irrespective of whether the person they are caring for is being assessed. It also enables local authorities to provide carers with services in their own right, in addition to any services they may be providing for the person being cared for.
The assessments must consider whether the carer participates, or wishes to participate, in any work, education, training or leisure activity. This recognises that carers should be able to access the same opportunities as those without caring responsibilities.
Carer assessments and the local authority resources
Although Local Authorities have a duty to carry out carers’ assessments, whether or not they provide services is their decision. They do not have a duty to do so.
Respite care may be beneficial to you and the person you’re looking after.
In some areas, respite care is provided by your local authority as a result of an assessment on you as a carer. In other areas, access to respite care is provided through a community care assessment of the person you’re looking after. Ideally, it is better if both parties are assessed. The local authority will consider what help you need and decide which community care services it will provide to help you
Making a complaint
If you have a complaint, it is advisable to try to sort it out with the person they have contact with, such as the assessor or care manager. There may simply have been a failure in communication or a misunderstanding that can be easily rectified. However, if this is not successful, there is a local authority complaints procedure. The local authority will explain how to use this. The complaints procedure might be useful if:
There are problems arranging an assessment
There is an unreasonably long wait for an assessment
The services needed are not provided, or are unsatisfactory.
If the local authority complaints procedure does not resolve the issue either, you can take your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman at www.lgo.org.uk