• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Your views and experiences needed

Louise Lakey

Registered User
Apr 19, 2007
Consultation on local authority eligibility criteria - your views needed

The Commission for Social Care and Inspection (CSCI) is carrying out a major review of the eligibility criteria that local authorities use to decide whether or not a person receives help from the local authority with social care services.

Background to the consultation

If a person has dementia and needs support, their local authority social services department should carry out a community care assessment. This enables social services to find out what the person's care needs are and to decide which services could help to meet those needs (for example, meals on wheels, day care or care in a care home).

Once the care assessment has been completed, the local authority has to make a decision about whether or not it will provide or arrange the services. It makes these decisions by comparing an individual’s assessed needs with eligibility criteria it has set for community care services.

This means that the local authority will set a threshold, where people with sufficiently high levels of assessed need are helped but those who have assessed need below the threshold are required to self-fund or make other private arrangements. Each local authority can set its own criteria, leading to differences around the country.

Now we’d like your help

The Society is going to submit a response to the consultation on the eligibility criteria local authorities currently use. We would like to make recommendations for improving the system, based on your views and experiences.

Do you have any comments on the system described above? For example,
1. Is there help and support that you need, but that you are not eligible to receive?
2. What is the effect on the lives of the person with dementia and the carer of not having the help that you need?
3. If you do not have help from social services, but you do need support, how do you get this? (For example, pay for it yourself, have help from a voluntary organisation, manage without help).
4. What is wrong with the current system? Do you have any suggestions for how the current eligibility criteria for social care should be changed?

I would very much like to receive your thoughts. You can respond to this thread, send me an email on Talking Point or at the Alzheimer's Society (louise.lakey@alzheimers.org.uk), or phone me on 020 7423 3581.

Many thanks,
Louise Lakey
Senior Policy Officer (interim)
Last edited:

Louise Lakey

Registered User
Apr 19, 2007
Are you eligible to receive help from social services - your views still needed

Thank you very much to everyone who has sent me a message regarding the consultation on eligibility criteria.

I am still very keen to hear from more people so that I can build up a really strong case about people's experiences and how they have been affected.

In particular I'd like to hear about:

- Your experience of getting an assessment for the person with dementia or the carer. Did you have one? What happened if you did?

- Is there help and support that you need but don't get from social services? If so, what is it? Do you go without the services you need or pay for it yourself, for example?

- Do you have any comments on the current system for working out whether you are eligible to receive services or how it could be changed?

Many thanks for your help. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

With best wishes, Louise Lakey
Senior Policy Officer (interim)


Registered User
Aug 23, 2005
Help - what help!

Hi there
I'm going to try and cast my mind back for points that may be of interest:
Mum was in a Mental hospital when she was diagnosed with Alzheimers and told that she could not go back to her home because she was a risk to herself and others. A representative of Social Services met with us and enquired about Mum's finances but on hearing that she money in the bank and owned her own flat she boughed out and we had no help whatever in trying to find a residential home for Mum. Shortly after that whilst still in hospital Mum was sectioned for 72 hours. The hospital contacted the residential home we had made arrangements with for Mum to move in as soon as a building project was completed to ask if they had a locked door policy which they did not - nearly lost us the placement. No contact with SS at all. We discharged Mum after the 72 hours was up and her sister took care of her and 'settled' her down so that the home was happy to have her on a trial basis. CPN visited Mum at her sisters but that was that. Mum stayed in that home for about 18 months!

(Sorry, gabbling on)
Nobody advised me (as Mum's power of attorney) about Attendance Allowance so never received this.

When Mum's funds got low Social Services contributed to care costs but they did not communicate this with me so I was still paying as well. This got quite complicated at a time when Mum had been absconding and was put on notice by the Residential Home. She had also been very poorly with a suspected stroke. I had to find a suitable Residential locked environment at quite short notice - received no help whatever from SS. I moved Mum to another county to be closer to myself. The only vacancy I could find was very expensive and was a Dementia locked environment not ideal but had no choice - my concern was to settle Mum give her love and make this as good as I could for her. I registered her with a local GP. She has never been allocated a Social Worker, CPN or Consultant Psyciatrist - just the GP.

I have been pursing Continuing Care for Mum and have succeeded for a period of months up until she moved into the Home near me and am still pursing this as nothing changed other than her environment for which I was paying a lot of top-up! She has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and would be a risk to herself and others. I have asked the previous County for help with a local Social Worker on a number of occasions without any success until a short while ago.

The Ombudsman has recently advised that when Mum left Hampshire CC area the responsibility for her should have transferred to B&NES area. This did not happen and has caused lots of problems that have affected my own health and family life in trying to sort out the finances.

B&NEs have this week re-assessed Mum for continuing care. For the first time I was in attendance and they will keep me in touch and I will have the opportunity to not only comment on the documentation but will also be invited to the Meeting that decides the outcome. So different!

Over the last 2 years B&NEs have undertaken Nursing determinations on Mum with Medium Band Nursing being identified. HCC do not recognise this and still maintain Mum is residential only. Quite what has been happening with the Nursing contributions I don't know. On asking them, The Care Home have not received them, nor have HCC and neither have I!
B&Nes are going to get back to me to confirm this.

When Money has been out all the advice I've received on the phone by HCC is to find a SS funded placement - they did forward a list of Homes with vacancies which included none within 10 miles of my home. The only one available I visited and the room was on the 3rd floor - with open staircases - that Mum would almost certainly have fallen down if she got out of bed at night!

Sorry to have gone on - I hope this is of some help. I wish I had time to battle.

By the way, what do you know about "The Care Charge Avoidance Handbook" - I've just come across it on the internet and wonder if it's for real.

If I can be of any further assistance please let me know.

Good Luck.



Registered User
Aug 6, 2007
Consultation on local authority eligibility criteria

Hi there
I think there are some real problems with this. Basically the LA in which my mother resides in the North West do not include "reminding" my mother which to me is rather amazing as the illness so greately features loss of Memory! There is also an issue re emotional/psychological care. Eg on the "reminder" side the care plan can not include reminders such as that there is eg. a coffee morning, or that her "mentally and physically disabled daughter (with her carers)" will be calling, or that there is fresh food in her fridge when its meal times, or that there are activities going on in the retirment village. The need is not recognised in part because the care organisation just say they can't provide it! On the emotional side there is little understanding of the mood changes/swings that accompany the illness.
I suspect that providing the physical care needs just rates much higher in the LA and care agencies agenda than the psychological and emotional needs.
Not sure if this helps:)

Louise Lakey

Registered User
Apr 19, 2007
Care Charge Avoidance Handbook

Thank you very much indeed for the responses to my request for views and comments on the eligibility criteria. I really appreicate you taking the time to do this and the comments you have provided are really helpful. It is very important for me to understand exactly what people have experienced difficulties with.

EllieS asked about the 'Care Charge Avoidance Handbook'. Thank you for raising this. I've spoken to my colleagues to get their advice on this. We haven't actually heard of this book specifically, and so cannot comment on it. However, we have heard of similar books. In general, we wouldn't recommend them, as paying for care is a very complex area and will depend on an individual's specific situation.

There are a few legal ways to minimise expenditure for care, but we would recommend that people discuss their individual situation with a solicitor or accountant who is an expert in elderly care issues, as particular rules apply.

For further information on paying for care you could look at the information 'When does the NHS pay for care?' on our website. available at:


Louise Lakey
Senior policy officer