Assessment for care and support in Northern Ireland – reviews and complaints

Find out how care plans should be reviewed and how to resolve complaints in Northern Ireland.


Your circumstances change, so the services you get should be reviewed from time to time. HSC trusts have review meetings to see whether the needs of the person with dementia or yours as a carer have changed since they last had their needs assessed.

Care plans should be reviewed at times or intervals specified in the care plan (for example, within the first six months and then annually), or as your needs change. 

Types of review

  • A planned review is where the date of the review was set out in the initial care plan. 
  • An unplanned review is normally the result of a change in circumstances, such as being admitted to hospital or having a fall, meaning the person is less able to do things. 
  • A requested review is where the person, their carer or a professional (for example their GP) asks for a review. This may be due to a change in care needs, or where it is felt that different support is needed. 

If there is a change in your situation or that of the person with dementia, you should contact the local HSC trust, whether or not a regular review is due. You should also contact them if you feel that you need more help, or different kinds of services. 


It is best to try to resolve any complaints about the assessment process with the person you have contact with, such as the social worker. There may have been a breakdown in communication or a misunderstanding.  

However, if this is not successful, the HSC trust will have a complaints procedure you can follow. The trust 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 you need aren’t provided, or are unsatisfactory.

Contact the local HSC trust to find out what the complaints procedure is.

If the HSC trust’s complaints procedure does not resolve the issue, you can take your complaint to the Northern Ireland Ombudsman (see Other resources).

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