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Adult care needs assessment: 3 conversations

Traditionally you may have heard the term assessment or social care assessment.

We are embracing a new approach to social care - this approach is called the ‘3 conversations’.

All of our conversations are undertaken in line with legislation:

If you find it hard to understand things or explain your views and wishes, you can ask a family member or friend to be with you for your needs assessment telephone appointment. They can also take notes for you.

If you don’t know someone who can help, you can ask us to arrange for an independent advocate to support you during your assessment.

An independent advocate is a trained professional who can help get your opinions heard. Find out more about independent advocacy.

Please note that you may be required to pay a contribution. Find out more about financial assessments.

As part of Conversation 1, we aim to: 

  • listen hard to you
  • have honest conversations
  • work as equals not experts
  • build relationships based on trust, kindness and respect

At this stage we will explore questions like:

  • why have you got in touch?
  • what you are worried about?
  • what are you specifically wanting help with?            
  • what’s working well?
  • what is available in your local community that we connect you to?
  • what’s the best way to introduce you to local/community opportunities?
  • is there any equipment we could quickly make available to help you maintain independence?
  • what resources are available to help?
  • who else is around to support you?
  • did the person achieve what they needed?       
  • what are the next steps?

As part of Conversation 2, we aim to: 

  • work intensively and collaboratively with you
  • understand what is causing the crisis
  • work with you to regain some stability
  • make sure the plan works for you

At this stage we will explore questions like:

  • what is the background to the situation?
  • what has happened that has led to this crisis or period of instability?
  • what’s working well?
  • what ‘one thing’ needs to change to help you?
  • what is the focus of this plan?
  • what needs to happen?
  • what resources are there as opposed to just deficits?
  • who else needs to be involved?
  • what does ‘normal’ look like for you?
  • what are you trying to get back to?
  • what can we achieve and in what timescale are we looking to achieve it?
  • what is the possible and preferred future and what is already contributing to this?
  • have the plan's aims been achieved?

At this stage we will explore:

  • what longer term support in building a good life is needed
  • what a good life looks like to you and your family
  • helping you get the support organised so you can live your best life possible

As part of Conversation 3, we will assess whether someone is eligible under the Care Act. Please see eligibility criteria applied below. 

Eligibility criteria

  1. The adult’s needs arise from, or are related to, a physical or mental impairment or illness
  2. As a result of the adult’s needs, the adult is unable to achieve two or more of the specified outcomes below
  3. As a consequence of being unable to achieve these outcomes there is, or there is likely to be, a significant impact on the adult’s wellbeing

Specified outcomes

  1. Manage and maintain nutrition
  2. Maintain person hygiene
  3. Manage toilet needs
  4. Being appropriately clothed
  5. Being able to make use of your home safely
  6. Maintain a habitable home environment
  7. Develop/maintain family and other personal relationships
  8. Access/engage in work, training, education or volunteering
  9. Make use of community services
  10. Carry out caring responsibilities for a child

What happens after Conversation 3?

If the assessment identifies that you have eligible care and support and needs you will also be asked to complete a financial assessment.

We will work with you to identify how these needs can be met and the outcomes you want to achieve by creating a care and support plan with you.

Where an adult is found to have no eligible needs, we will provide information and advice on:

  • other sources of support that might be available to meet or reduce the needs they have
  • what can be done to prevent or delay the development of future needs

Support plan

This describes how the needs identified in your assessment will be met, by who, their cost and if you want to take your Personal Budget as:

  • a Direct Payment ('one off' or ongoing money paid to you to buy your own support)
  • a Managed Service (the Local Authority will purchase services on your behalf)
  • a mixture of both

The Council must agree the plan and:

  • that the planned support can adequately meet the needs and outcomes from your assessment
  • how you will manage your budget
  • the amount of your Personal Budget

You will be given a copy of your support plan and your support can be arranged and begin.

Find out more about long-term care and support.

How to contact us

Find out how to contact Adult Social Care.

Last updated 20 June 2024