A "needs assessment" is often the first step towards getting the help and support you need.
On this page
Who to contact for information, advice and support
In order to get assistance, you should contact the following five voluntary organisations:
Age UK Tel No: 0208 648 5792, opening times 9am – 4pm Monday – Friday for general information and advice, social activities, befriending, incontinence and stroke issues, handyperson services
Wimbledon Guild Tel No: 0208 946 0735, opening times 9am -5pm Monday - Friday for general information and advice, social activities, outreach services
Merton Vision Tel No: 0208 540 5446, opening times 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday for general information and advice, wide variety of bespoke services and advice for people with sight difficulties
Carers’ Support Merton Tel No: 0208 646 7515, opening times 10am – 4 pm Monday - Friday for general information and advice, expertise and specific support for carers
Merton Mencap Tel No: 0208 646 0965 opening times 9.30am – 4.30pm Monday – Friday for general information and advice, expertise and specific support for adults with learning disabilities.
The above organisations will work alongside you to find appropriate non-statutory support either from within their own organisations or by utilizing the many and varied support and services available in the wider community. Following this, if necessary, the voluntary organisations will refer into the appropriate team such as Older People / Physical Disability Duty, Learning Disability Duty, Housing, Occupational Therapy Service.
From 1 April 2015 all safeguarding concerns will go directly to the Adult Safeguarding Team; Tel no 0208 545 3983 or email Safeguarding.firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, Provider Complaints will go directly to the Contracts and Procurement Team; Tel no 0208 545 3059 or email@example.com
Needs assessments (community care services)
A needs assessment is often the first step towards getting the help and support you need.
A needs assessment (also called a community care assessment) is an opportunity for you to tell us about your circumstances and discuss your care needs. The aim is to reach an agreement about what help can be provided by Merton Council's Community Care Department.
During a needs assessment, a member of the Community Care Team will ask how you are managing to take care of yourself and what help you feel you may need.
The discussion in a needs assessment may include:
- what care tasks can you do for yourself?
- what care tasks do you need help with?
- what care tasks can you not do at all?
- what help do you have at present?
- what is the best way to provide the help you need?
The discussions will only include questions which are necessary to decide what help you need.
Who will you speak to when you call us?
You will speak with a trained contact worker who can provide information and signposting.
If your enquiry is complex or if you need an assessment you will either be transferred directly to a member of one of our specialist social services teams, or we will take basic details from you and arrange for an appropriate member of our specialist social services team to call you back.
Our social services team member will discuss your situation with you in depth, provide information and advice, and may arrange services or a visit from our staff to assess your needs so that we can provide further help.
If you are an existing client of Adult Social Services we will put you through to the person looking after your case, or take basic details from you for them to call you back.
Completing a needs assessment
A member of the Community Care Team will be allocated to complete your assessment and manage your agreed care package.
Primarily, you and your views and wishes will be central to the assessment and with your permission we will take into account the views of your family, friends and other people who know your circumstances, such as your GP and other health professionals.
Merton is committed to meeting the needs of a diverse community and will arrange a language interpreter where required to assist you in making your views known during the assessment.
How long does it take to get a needs assessment?
The Community Care Department receives requests for assessments from a large number of people and consequently gives priority to those people in most urgent need.
If this is the first time you have been referred, the Community Care Department will aim to begin your assessment within 48 hours, particularly if you are an older person.
The time taken to complete an assessment will vary depending on your situation and the complexity of the help you need. If you have complex needs, which require a very detailed assessment with input from specialist health professionals, some services may be put in place prior to the assessment process ending.
Usually assessments will be completed within 4 weeks.
In emergency situations, where someone is considered to be at great risk, interim services will be provided until the assessment is complete.
How do I arrange a needs assessment?
You should contact the service that would best meet your needs. See the service contact details below for details of all the community care services.
If you have a carer she/he may need some support to continue in their caring role. A carers assessment places the carer and their views and wishes central to the assessment and provides him/her with an opportunity to say what care they provide, for how many hours they provide it and what support they feel they need to maintain the caring role.
A carers assessment can be completed as part of your needs assessment or as a separate assessment in the carers own right.
A carer can request a carers assessment in their own right regardless of whether you have had a needs assessment or not. Similarly, if you have had a needs assessment, but refuse services, this will not effect the carers right to assessment.
Will my carer be informed of the outcomes of my assessment and are the outcomes of my carers assessment shared with me?
All information collected by the community care staff is stored confidentially and will not be shared with a third person without your permission. If a carers assessment forms part of your needs assessment, the information and outcomes will be logged jointly and you will both receive copies of the outcomes. If your needs assessment and the carers assessment have been carried out as separate assessments the information will be stored separately and each of you will only be sent copies of the outcomes of your own assessment, unless you request otherwise.
Financial contributions and assessment
Will I be expected to pay for any services that I receive?
You may be asked to pay for your services in full or make a small contribution to the overall cost. These charges are based on your ability to pay, which is determined by the completion of a financial assessment.
What is a financial assessment and how is it completed?
A financial assessment will take into account income, out goings and savings. If you are on a very low income (income support level and below) and have no savings there will be no charge. If you have a higher income and/or savings you will be assessed to pay a contribution towards the total cost of your service package. Charging arrangements are in accordance with Department of Health Guidelines.
Can I be financially supported to buy in my own care from a provider of my own choosing?
Yes it is possible for the Community Care Department to give you the money to buy your own care, rather than purchase it on your behalf. This system, which is called ‘Direct Payments’, enables you to purchase care directly from friends or neighbours. If you choose to use this system you will be responsible for recruiting and employing care staff, organising their day-day tasks and keeping records of expenditure.
What happens once the assessment process has been completed?
Once the assessment has been completed you will be sent a:
- Statement of need, which is a written document that outlines all of the needs identified during your assessment.
- Care plan, which indicates if and how those needs are to be addressed, detailing which type of service has been agreed as best able to assist/support you.
- Service schedule or plan, which will tell you which organisation or agency, will provide the service you require and when the service will start.
At this point you will be receiving most, if not all of the services that the community care team agreed to provide.
Whilst the Community Care Department want to support as many people as possible, there is a duty to ensure that the services go to those who most need them. Whether you qualify for a service will depend on your level of identified need when matched against set eligibility criteria. The eligibility criterion consists of four bands as laid down by the Government. These are:
Critical Needs - Life is threatened/significant health problems. At risk of serious physical or mental abuse or neglect. Little or no choice and control over vital aspects of the immediate environment.
Substantial Needs - Only partial choice and control over the immediate environment. Abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur. There is, or will be, an inability to carry out the majority of personal care or domestic routines.
Moderate Needs - An inability to carry out several personal care or domestic routines.
Low needs- An inability to carry out one or two personal care or domestic routines.
The community Care Department will meet any identified needs that are critical or substantial, but not those that are moderate or low. However, there may be voluntary service organisations that can help you with these.
If you do not agree with the conclusions of the assessment you can ask for the decisions to be reconsidered. You also have the right to complain if you are dissatisfied with an assessment decision or the way in which your assessment was completed.
Your needs and the services provided will be reviewed on a regular basis. This is to ensure both that you still require the services and that what is provided still meets your needs, which may have changed.
Who to contact to request a needs assessment
| Contact name || Telephone and email || Address |
Adult First Response Team
Older People and Physical Disability
From 9.30am-1.30pm Monday to Friday on:
Telephone: 020 8545 4388
Minicom: 020 8545 4626
In case of an emergency between
1.30pm-5pm Monday to Friday,
please contact the Crisis Line on 07903 235 382
Out of Hours Service 5.30pm-9.00am Monday-Sunday on
Telephone: 020 8770 5000
| Adult First Response|
Older People and Physical Disability
Merton Civic Centre,
Morden, Mitcham and Wimbledon
Community Mental Health Teams
| 020 3458 5580 Morden|
020 8544 9799
| The Wilson Hospital Cranmer Road|
Surrey CR4 4PT
| Merton Community Alcohol and Drugs Team || 020 8687 4666|
The Wilson Hospital Cranmer Road
Surrey CR4 4PT
| Complaints || 020 8545 3060 || Customer Services Officer|
Surrey SM4 5DX
| Mascot community alarm scheme |
020 8274 5940
020 8540 0355
| Mascot Telecare|
Merton Civic Centre,