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Needs assessment

Care and support is a term used to describe the help some adults need when they are unable to perform their day-to-day tasks due to physical disability, learning disability, long-term condition, frailty due to old age, mental ill health, or if they care for an adult friend or family member and this is impacting on their own well-being.

Care and support can be given by family members and friends, by us, or by other organisations.

Care needs assessment

Before we can offer you care and support, we have to see if you are eligible to receive them, following an assessment of your care needs.

We will meet your needs if a care needs assessment shows that:

  • your needs arise from, or are related to, a physical or mental impairment or illness
  • as a result of your needs, you are unable to achieve two or more outcomes (day to day activities) – see 'what the Care Act says'
  • as a consequence there is, or is likely to be, a sufficient impact on your well-being

If you are a carer you will have eligible needs if:

  • your needs arise as a consequence of providing necessary care for an adult - it must be necessary care that a person can’t provide for themselves.
  • the effect of your needs is that any of the circumstances, see ‘ What the Care Act says'*

Eligibility for support is based on your needs and how these affect your well-being. The assessment of your needs is made regardless of whether or not the person you care for has eligible needs.

Contact Adult Care Services on 01234 267422 to get an assessment.

Self assessment

An assessment is a way to help us work out what social care help and support you might need. For example, you or someone you know, may be struggling to carry out day-to-day tasks like having a bath or using the stairs.

A self-assessment is a set of questions that you complete, using an online form. It can be done in the comfort of your own home because we believe you and the people closest to you can best assess your care needs. 

Who can apply for self-assessment

You can complete a self-assessment if you are over 18 years old and live in Bedford Borough. Check the map of Bedford Borough to see if you live in the area.

Carers, friends or family can fill in the self-assessment for you.  If this is the case, we will always contact you to check if you have agreed to this.

How to complete a self-assessment

Please complete the self-assessment here 

Carers self-assessment

If you are a carer looking after an elderly, sick or disabled relative, friend or neighbour and would like to see if you are entitled to any support, please complete the carers self-assessment.

What the Care Act says

 A person’s needs meet the eligibility criteria if:

  • they arise from, or are related to, a physical or mental impairment or illness
  • as a result of these needs, the person is unable to do two or more of the day to day activities specified below and …
  • as a consequence there is, or is likely to be, a significant impact on the person’s wellbeing.

*The Care Act says that consideration must be given to the following day to day activities:

  • managing and maintaining nutrition
  •  maintaining personal hygiene
  • managing toilet needs
  • being appropriately clothed
  • being able to make use of the adult’s home safely
  • maintaining a habitable home environment
  • developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships
  • accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
  • making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport and recreational facilities and services
  • carrying out caring responsibilities the adult has for a child

*Carers can be eligible for support in their own right

The Care Act says that consideration must be given to the following day today activities. To be eligible, a carer must be unable to achieve any of the following outcomes:

  • carrying out any caring responsibilities the carer has for the child
  • providing care to other persons for whom the carer provides care
  • maintaining a habitable home environment
  • managing and maintaining nutrition
  • developing and maintaining family or other significant personal relationships
  • engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
  • making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community
  • engaging in recreational activities

As a consequence of that fact there is, or there is likely to be, a significant impact on the carer’s wellbeing.

  • We must consider whether the carer’s needs and their ability to achieve the outcomes above present a significant impact on the carer’s wellbeing in a significant way; or
  • The impact on a number of areas of wellbeing is such that they have a significant impact on an adult’s overall wellbeing.

After eligibility has been determined your care and support needs will either be:

  • eligible needs or
  • non eligible needs

If you have eligible needs we will be able to offer care and support to you and agree with you which of your needs you would like the local authority to meet, and you may wish to arrange alternative services yourself to meet some or all of your needs.

If your needs are non-eligible we will still be able to help you by offering information and advice about services in the Bedford area that may be able to help to meet your needs. In either situation we will provide you with a copy of our decision and advise you further.

If you do not at present qualify for support provided by Adult Social Care Services, you may qualify for help in the future. We will provide information to you on what can be done to meet to reduce the needs (for example what support might be available in the community to help you or your carer).

We know that needs and situations change. If you do not qualify for Adult Social Care Services support we would ask you or your carers to contact us if your situation changes or your difficulties increase and we will reassess.

After eligibility has been determined we will also establish whether or not you meet the ordinary residence requirement. This applies differently to people with needs and their carers. In the case of an adult with care needs they must be ordinarily resident in Bedford. In the cases of a carer, the person for whom they care must be ordinarily resident in Bedford.  In either case determining ordinary residence will not lead to a delay in meeting your eligible needs.

Points to remember

  • We will always assess needs before we arrange and pay for services. Sometimes we do this by telephone and sometimes in person by visiting people. It depends on your individual situation.
  • If you have needs we can only arrange services for people who qualify for our help, but we will in all cases provide information and advice if you do not meet the eligibility criteria.  
  • The service we provide will be reviewed on a regular basis and adjusted according to your needs and assessment.
  • Everybody will receive a financial assessment and benefits advice.
  • Most people pay a contribution towards the cost of residential or nursing home care. We may ask people who qualify for home care or day services to pay a charge, based on their income and savings, towards the cost. People who have less income than the allowance we make for their expenses do not need to pay.


Personalisation means making the support you receive personal to you. 

Everyone who receives social services support have their needs assessed. 

With personalised services you will:

  • Be offered a Personal Budget, following an assessment of need, to buy your own care and support;
  • Be able to buy services that fit your specific needs, agreed outcomes, preferences and circumstances within the budget;
  • Have greater control, choice and flexibility in your life;
  • Be more involved in helping us develop and shape local services. 

Self-directed support

This term is used to describe how people are able to design the support or care arrangements that best suite their specific needs. 

It puts people at the centre of the planning process and recognises that they are best placed to understand their own needs and how to meet them.

Self-directed support allows people to control how the money available to meet their support needs is spent.

Download our leaflet to find out more: Putting People First – Self Directed Support explained (PDF). 

More information on our adult social care services and the national transforming adult social care programme can be found at

2014 Autism self-assessment exercise

Public Health England officially issued the results of the 2014 autism self-assessment exercise. The Department of Health, Public Health England and Autism West Midlands have developed a mapping tool that allows the public to review all local responses in full length online.

The new tool also allows users to ask questions and rate the results.

Please find the new interactive tool here:

The Autism Self-Assessment Exercise 2013 is aimed to assist local authorities and their partners in assessing progress in implementing the 2010 Adult Autism Strategy.

Related leaflets


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