How it works

Help with jargon

If you've spoken to a GP or social care professional you might hear some words and phrases and wonder what they really mean.

Assessment

If you think you need support, an assessment will find out what your needs are. It will include questions about how you manage everyday activities like looking after yourself, household tasks, handling money or looking after your mental wellbeing. It will also look at your ability to understand the world around you and how well you communicate.

Mental capacity

The Mental Capacity Act is a law that protects and empowers people aged 16 and over to make decisions. The law assumes people have capacity unless it is proven otherwise.

Care and support plan

A care and support plan is written after you have had a social services assessment. It lists what your care and support needs are, how your needs will be met and what services you will receive. You have the right to be involved in creating your care plan as it is about you.

Commissioner

Adult social care commissioners are your local authority. NHS care is commissioned by local clinical commissioning groups. In most areas in England, social care and health care commissioners work together to make sure there is a good provision of services in their area.

Co-production

Co-production is a term used in social care that means fully involving people as equal partners in designing their support services.

Outcomes

Outcomes are the important goals that you want to achieve. This could be finding a job, moving into your own home or learning a new skill.

Personal budget

A personal budget is the amount of money social services will pay to meet your ‘eligible social care needs’. It should be enough to pay for all the help or services set out in your care and support plan.

Direct payments

This is money paid to you by your local council for your support needs. Direct payments give you more choice and control over your support. The money can go directly to you or to someone acting on your behalf.

When your council decides that you need support, you will receive a personal budget. You can get this as a direct payment instead of letting the council arrange services for you.

Individual service fund

An individual service fund (ISF) is where a care provider (like Choice Support) will manage your personal budget for you.

With an ISF you get choice and control over your support, and you don't have the hassle of managing the money.

Personalised services

Support services that start with what your needs are, how you want to be supported and what you want to achieve in life. As opposed to services that group people together and assume they all have the same needs.

Primary care services

This are the services you usually contact first of all if you need help - like a GP, community nurse, dentist or pharmacist.

Secondary care services

These are services that provide more specialised support, like a community mental health team. Often a GP will refer someone to a secondary service.

Clinical commissioning group

Clinical commissioning groups (CCG) make sure the right health services are provided in local communities. They are also responsible for getting health and social care systems to work together for the benefit of local people.

Resource allocation system

A system used by some councils to decide how much money to give to a person for their support needs.

Risk assessment

This is an assessment of your safety, health and wellbeing and how you manage everyday activities. It will detail how you can manage risks, so that you can continue to do the things you want to do.

Referral

To receive support from a care provider, they will need to receive a referral. This has information about you and your needs. It may include your assessment and other risk assessments that are in place. Referrals can be made by yourself or a family member, adult social services, a GP or health care professional.

Safeguarding

Safeguarding means keeping people safe and free from abuse and neglect. Local authorities have safeguarding teams and safeguarding policies, as do most care providers like Choice Support.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing refers to a person's general physical, emotional and mental health.

Supported living

Supported living is a type of service where care and support are provided under a separate contractual arrangement to housing. In a supported living service you have your own home, which means that housing law protects you. You also receive support, which can vary from a few hours a day to round the clock support.

Registered care

A registered care home is a type of service that provides accommodation together with care and support.

Outreach

Outreach usually means getting small targeted amounts of support to help you meet a specific goal. For example, someone might visit you twice a week to help you go shopping.

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