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This factsheet includes information that will help with your daily living if you live in Christchurch and East Dorset.

The Care Act 2014 came into force in April 2015 and governs an individuals’ rights to be assessed for health and social care support to meet their needs by their local authority. Under the Care Act 2014 local authorities are obliged to ensure that people who live in their areas:

  • Receive services that prevent their care needs from becoming more serious, or delay the impact of their needs.
  • Can get the information and advice they need to make good decisions about care and support. This includes signposting them to services, facilities, and resources available locally through voluntary and community groups, and how these might help local people.
  • Have a range of providers offering a choice of high quality, appropriate services.


Local authorities will have to consider factors such as:

  • Identify local people who might have care and support needs that are not being met.
  • Identify carers in the area who might have support needs that are not being met


The Act clearly sets out that local authorities must provide information on:

  • What types of care and support are available
  • The range of care and support services available to local people
  • What process people need to use to get the care and support that is available
  • Where local people can find independent financial advice about care and support and help them to access it
  • How people can raise concerns about the safety or wellbeing of someone who has care and support needs.


Under the Care Act 2014 local authorities have a duty to assess anyone who appears to need care and support. This assessment is called an “Assessment of Need” and will form part of an “Individual Care Plan”.  A Care Manager or Social Worker will visit you at home to help you work out if you are “eligible” for support and how your needs can be met, there is no charge for the assessment but you may have to contribute financially towards some aspects of your care. Alternatively, you can also go online at https://www.mylifemycare.com/eligibility-criteria-for-council-services  for more information. However, the Care Act does not place a duty on the local authority to provide services.  Whether services are provided to you depends on whether you meet the ‘national minimum threshold for eligibility’.


 Further details about planning your care and support, a comprehensive explanation about eligibility criteria and the options available to you, are available on the Help & Care factsheet “Planning your care and support”. Details of local care agencies are available on the Help & Care factsheet “Care at Home” contact 0300 111 3303 to ask for copies or visit our website www.helpandcare.org.uk and download copies.

Following an Assessment of Need services such as help with meals, shopping and laundry may still be provided by a private or voluntary agency, or a not for profit organisation or charity, for which you may have to pay the full charge or a contribution towards the cost.  

For further information and to apply for an Assessment of Need contact:

Dorset Direct, Adult Social Care Team, County Hall, Colliton Park, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1XJ, Tel: 01305 221016 - Out of hours: 01202 657279, or go online at https://www.mylifemycare.com/Contact-us . You can also ask a friend or relative to contact them (with your permission) on your behalf.


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