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Fair access to care services

Many people, either through disability or after an accident or illness, find they need a little help in regaining abilities or maintaining their independence.

We want to support people to live as independently as possible with dignity and respect. We will help people to help themselves to take increasing responsibility for staying as active and as well as they can, for as long as possible. We do this by ensuring easy access to a wide range of preventative and universal services and community resources.

If you need a bit more help to develop or regain your independence, in North Yorkshire we have a service called START (the short-term assessment and reablement team), which offers a short period of support. For the majority of people who need a social care service from us, this will be the first service offered.

If you need longer-term support after the START service, we will carry out a needs assessment, looking at all relevant aspects of your life. We will then decide if you are eligible for help.

How we decide if you are eligible for help

The Government provides "fair access to care services" criteria to help councils decide who is eligible for support. They look at:

  • Any risk to health and safety for yourself or others;
  • Your ability to control and make choices about your life;
  • Your ability to manage your personal care and domestic routines; and
  • Your involvement in your family and wider community.

For each of these areas, your level of need will be identified as critical, substantial, moderate or low during your assessment. From 1 April 2014, people with needs in the critical or substantial bands will be offered support. This is because the council now has less money to provide services and so support for people with the greatest need must be prioritised.

We carried out a public consultation about raising the eligibility threshold in autumn 2013. You can .

If you are eligible, we will talk about how you want that support to be provided. This service is called Your Support, Your Way. We will also discuss whether you will need to pay towards the cost of support. This depends on your income and savings and is determined through a financial assessment.

If you are not eligible, we will put you in touch with other organisations and services in your community that may be able to help you. We may also be able to provide you with some telecare or other equipment to help you to stay independent.

If your needs change, you can always ask for a reassessment. Simply speak to your social care worker or contact us.

Eligibility framework and criteria

The lists below provide the framework for fair access to care services for each level.

Your level of need is critical when:

  • Life is, or will be, threatened; and/or
  • Significant health problems have developed or will develop; and/or
  • There is, or will be, little or no choice and control over vital aspects of the immediate environment; and/or
  • Serious abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur; and/or
  • There is, or will be, an inability to carry out vital personal care or domestic routines; and/or
  • Vital involvement in work, education or learning cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
  • Vital social support systems and relationships cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
  • Vital family and other social roles and responsibilities cannot or will not be undertaken.

Your level of need is substantial when:

  • There is, or will be, only partial choice and control over the immediate environment; and/or
  • Abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur; and/or
  • There is, or will be, an inability to carry out the majority of personal care or domestic routines; and/or
  • Involvement in many aspects of work, education or learning cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
  • The majority of social support systems and relationships cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
  • The majority of family and other social roles and responsibilities cannot or will not be undertaken.

Your level of need is moderate when:

  • There is, or will be, an inability to carry out several personal care or domestic routines; and/or
  • Involvement in several aspects of work, education or learning cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
  • Several social support systems and relationships cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
  • Several family and other social roles and responsibilities cannot or will not be undertaken.

Your level of need is low when:

  • There is, or will be, an inability to carry out one or two personal care or domestic routines; and/or
  • Involvement in one or two aspects of work, education or learning cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
  • One or two social support systems and relationships cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
  • One or two family and other social roles and responsibilities cannot or will not be undertaken.

This page was last updated on 28 March 2014