Before making a request
Caring for someone can be tough and so it is important to look after your health and wellbeing as much as possible.
You can find out about support available to you in your community at Connect to Support. It has information about a range of services to support the person you are looking after, as well as for yourself.
You can also access a range of digital resources from Carers UK, to help with:
- health and wellbeing
- working and caring
You can also call the Carers UK national helpline on 0808 808 7777 Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm or email [email protected].
If you feel you need more support, you can request a carer's assessment. It will help to find out what your needs are and how we can best support you.
A carer's assessment is for someone who looks after an adult who is frail, disabled, seriously ill, has a mental health problem or abuses substances.
It is a friendly conversation with someone who understands the caring role.
It's an opportunity to consider your own wellbeing and your own needs, and to think about what support you might need. It's not a judgement on how well you are caring for someone.
We take a strengths-based approach and talk with you about what is working well and what you enjoy doing, and what you want to do.
We find out what is important to you, and will ask about any issues or problems you may be facing with the caring role. Most people find this conversation of value.
We look at the impact of caring on your physical and mental health and other areas of life, such as work. We also look at whether you are willing and able to carry on providing care.
We look at the support you need and come up with a plan together. We use national eligibility criteria if funded support is required.
Before your assessment, consider:
- whether you can talk freely in front of the person you look after
- whether you want to, or can, carry on caring for the person you look after
- if there is anything or anyone that could make life easier and support you
- what would happen to the person you care for if you were unable to
- whether you know what a good day or week looks like
- whether being a carer affects your relationships with other people
- if you have a job, that your employer knows you are a carer
- whether you have time to look after your own health and wellbeing
- what aspects of caring you enjoy or feel you do well and what you struggle with
You can make notes during your assessment, if you wish.
You could try talking with family and friends about the care you provide and how it affects you. You could also keep a diary for a week.
For more advice, visit the CarersUK website.
How to make a request
Before you request an assessment, review the support options available to you.
If you feel you have a need for further support, you have the right to request a carer’s assessment. You can:
- email [email protected]
- or, call 01522 782224
- or, if outside office hours call 01522 782333
We may carry out your assessment over the phone, video call, email, in a community venue, or even in your home.
What happens next?
We will contact you to arrange a convenient time. Allow for at least an hour.
During the conversation, we will find out what your needs are and do our best to assist you to meet them.
We explore information and advice that is relevant to you, and help prepare a support plan. We make an eligibility determination using national criteria.
Your support plan will set out how your 'eligible needs', such as your health and wellbeing or ability to work or maintain relationships, will be met over the next year or relevant time period.
Your support plan may include practical help and regular emotional support from the Carers Service. It may also include things that family and friends can do to help, or things that you will do.
Depending on your needs, you may be able to access a carer's personal budget to help you have a break.
We will stay in touch with you to check your support plan is working for you. This is called keeping your support under review.
If at any time you feel that your situation has changed, you can request another assessment.
What happens next?
If your support plan to meet your eligible needs requires financial support, we will meet these through a carer personal budget.
Your support plan will detail your needs and how your personal budget will help to meet them. We will decide the final amount you receive.
This offers a flexible and personalised way to offer bespoke support.
A personal budget may be made as a one-off or regular Direct Payment by means of an All Pay card.
We will review your support plan, any needs you have and your budget every year.
Using your personal budget
Your personal budget can be used in different ways to meet your needs, such as:
- gardening and cleaning services to help maintain the home
- carer breaks
- travel expenses for visiting family and friends
- appliances such as a washing machine or dishwasher
- play equipment for children with disabilities to give parents a break
- equipment such as a tablet or laptop
- respite care such as sitting services so that carers can take a break
- leisure and recreational activities so carers can do things they enjoy
You cannot spend it on illegal activities, debts, bills, gambling, alcohol or drugs.
The All Pay system helps keep an easy record of how the money has been spent.