Assessment for care and support in Northern Ireland

Read why you should request a community care assessment in Northern Ireland, including what it will involve, how services will be arranged, and how they will be paid for.

What is a community care assessment?

The community care assessment (also referred to as a care assessment or a needs assessment) enables social services staff in HSC trusts to find out what the person's care needs are. This allows them to then decide which services could help to meet those needs.

The services will be provided in the person's own home, and may include:

  • equipment and adaptations
  • meals on wheels
  • personal care
  • short break services (respite)
  • day care.

Alternatively, it could be that the person's needs would be best met through care in a care home.

It is not necessary to wait for a diagnosis of dementia before requesting a community care assessment. The HSC trust cannot arrange services unless an assessment has taken place.

Why request a community care assessment?

The community care assessment (also referred to as a care assessment or a needs assessment) enables social services staff in HSC trusts to find out what the person's care needs are. This allows them to then decide which services could help to meet those needs. The services will be provided in the person's own home, and may include:

  • equipment and adaptations
  • meals on wheels
  • personal care
  • short break services (respite)
  • day care.

Alternatively, it could be that the person's needs would be best met through care in a care home.

It is not necessary to wait for a diagnosis of dementia before requesting a community care assessment. The HSC trust cannot arrange services unless an assessment has taken place.

How is an assessment arranged?

The assessment can be arranged through:

  • the person's GP, consultant or another relevant professional making a referral to the local HSC trust for an assessment
  • the person who is seeking support and care contacting their local HSC trust for an assessment
  • another person (such as a friend or relative) doing so on their behalf
  • the hospital social worker if the person is in hospital.
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