Thanks for your post.
You’re right, it’s really important that people understand their right to a carers assessment if they are caring for an adult or a child. I’m one of the information and advice officers at Mencap and one of our aims is to make sure that people understand their rights when caring for someone who has a learning disability.
Carers assessments are part of the Care Act, there is more information here: https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/social-care/support-carers
A carers assessment should:
• give you a chance to talk about your health and wellbeing and the challenges of caring
• give you information about support and services, such as help to look after your own health while caring safely
• work out whether you have needs which are eligible for specific social care support
• give reassurance to you and the person you care for.
Here is the link to Devon’s information on carers assessments: https://new.devon.gov.uk/adultsocialcareandhealth/carers/carers-assessments/
They say: As a carer, you have the right to an assessment of your needs. If you would like an assessment, you have two options:
- You can ask to have a separate carers’ assessment, usually this is a Carer Health and Wellbeing Check. You can have this assessment even if the person you care for doesn’t have any care and support needs. The person you care for doesn’t have to agree to you having this check, or even need to know about it if this isn’t appropriate. A Carer Health and Wellbeing check will usually be done through Devon Carers or your GP practice.
- If the person you care for has a care needs assessment you can choose to have an assessment of your needs at the same time. Your needs are looked at together in one process as a combined assessment. A combined assessment will usually be done through social care services.
If the person you’re caring for has a care needs assessment the two separate assessments can be aligned as a joint assessment, if that is appropriate.
So in summary, carers need to be given the chance to do this away from the person they care for if they choose to, and not as an ‘add on’ to a needs assessment of the cared for person.
I hope that helps anyone who is having a carers assessment in Devon (or anywhere else), and thank you for raising the issue.