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Care: Your rights

Assessing what help or care you need

  • If you find it difficult to manage day to day, you are generally entitled to a free assessment, by your local council Social Services, of what help or care you need.
  • If you have a disability, this is an absolute right.
  • An assessment must be carried out within a reasonable time.
  • If you are a carer, you are generally entitled to an assessment of your need for help or support, quite independently of the person you care for.

More about care assessments

Provision of help or care services

  • Following an assessment, the local council may offer to provide services to help you, and if so, must set out its assessment and proposed services in a care plan.
  • If it decides not to offer services, it must provide a written statement of the reasons for its decision.

More about provision of services

Care homes

  • If the assessment advises moving to a care home, you have the right to refuse.
  • If you decide to move, and your local council is assisting with the care home fees, you still have the right to some choice over which home you move to.

More about choice of care home (what to look for)

More about choosing and paying for a care home

Quality of services

  • Government sets national minimum standards for care services, whether at home or in a care home. Although these are not legally enforceable, there is an expectation that they should usually be followed, and they do provide grounds for any complaint about services you are receiving. If you are unhappy with a local council decision, you have the right to challenge it. If you are not happy with their response you have the right to go to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Read about making a complaint to your local council

Read about making a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman

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