Leaflet: A guide to Adult Social Care
2021/22 edition (IL01)
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Who we are and what we do
Adult Social Care and Health is a department of East Sussex County Council. We work with people aged 18 or over who live in East Sussex.
Our role is to enable you to live as healthy and independent a life as you can, for as long as you can. We look at your strengths, capabilities, wider support network and community, as well as the difficulties you’re experiencing, and work with you to find solutions.
Examples of people we work with include those who:
- want to stay living at home but are finding it difficult to cope
- would like to get out and about into their community but, as a result of a health condition or disability, are unable to do so
- need information on how to access alternative, more suitable accommodation
- look after someone that couldn’t cope without their help
You should also contact us if you are at risk of harm, or are concerned about someone else at risk of harm by calling 0345 60 80 191.
Out-of-hours (emergency) support
If you call outside of normal office hours, our Emergency Duty Service will respond if your situation requires urgent adult social care intervention before the next working day.
How we can assist you
Here we will introduce you to how we can work with you, and where you can find more information. For example:
- We may be able to assist you through information, advice, and help to access community support.
- There may be short-term solutions or support that we can help you to access to prevent you having greater difficulties in the longer term.
- We may be able to provide some equipment or minor changes to your home to help to keep you safe and independent.
- If you need ongoing support, you may wish to have a social care needs assessment. This is where we look in more detail with you at your needs and strengths, to find out if you have eligible needs and what sort of social care support would help.
To confirm if you are eligible for support we use ‘eligibility criteria’ set by the government.
To be eligible:
- You must have care and support needs as a result of a physical impairment, a mental impairment or an illness.
- These needs must impact on at least two areas of your daily life and have a significant impact on your wellbeing.
For more information on the eligibility criteria you can read our factsheet: Who qualifies for our support?
If your social care needs assessment shows that you have eligible needs, we’ll also complete a financial assessment with you, to tell you what you will need to pay. Most people pay some or all of the cost of their care.
Even if you do not have eligible social care needs, we will give you information about your options and recommend support that could help you.
Information and advice
We have lots of sources of information available.
There’s a broad range of information available on our website, as well as links to other helpful websites and directories.
Use our directories to learn more about local services, service providers and community and voluntary organisations that could support you. You can also find out how to get more involved in your community.
If you’d like to speak to someone you can contact us.
Discussing your options, and short-term support
If you’re not sure what help you need we will have an initial conversation with you, usually over the phone. This will help us to understand your needs and to discuss possible options, including ways to build on your strengths, and support that might be available to maximise your independence.
For example, we can talk to you about:
- local services
- organisations that can help you improve your health and wellbeing or live more independently
- ways to connect with your community or get support from your wider network
- equipment that could help you
- if you have sight or hearing difficulties, or are deafblind, we may be able to recommend or provide equipment or other support, such as mobility training
- your accommodation options
- how to access support with your finances, debt or benefits
These are just some examples. Our conversation and suggestions for support will depend on your needs and what you would like to achieve.
Depending on your needs, you may be invited to an Occupational Therapy Clinic. Advice can be given at a clinic on managing at home. A clinic may also provide equipment and small adaptations to support you (some equipment and adaptations under £1,000 are free). The clinics can offer advice for carers and undertake carer’s assessments where appropriate.
Short-term support to maximise your independence
You may be offered a period of reablement, depending on your needs. This is a short-term service that helps you get back daily living skills that you may have lost because of an accident, illness or disability – for example, support after you’ve come out of hospital.
Reablement is provided by several different professionals who can help you to regain your confidence and daily living skills. This could include finding alternative ways of managing everyday tasks. The team will help you set goals and monitor your progress.
The support you receive can be in your own home or in another residential setting. We aim to be flexible in what we offer to meet your needs.
Reablement is always time limited. It’s normally for between two to three weeks, but occasionally slightly longer, depending on your needs and progress.
You will not be charged for the agreed period of reablement, but you may be charged for any care and support you need after this. The amount you will pay will be determined by a financial assessment. See our leaflet: What you will need to pay towards the cost of your care and support.
If our initial conversations suggest that you need ongoing social care support we can complete a more detailed assessment of your needs. This needs assessment helps us to understand more about you, including your daily life, your strengths and your support needs, to see if you are eligible for support from us.
To be eligible, you must meet the national eligibility criteria set by the government. This criteria enables us to ensure that the limited budget local authorities have is spent on the people who most need care and support, and that all adults across the country have equal access to support.
For more information you can read our factsheet: Who qualifies for our support?
Unlike NHS healthcare, social care and support is not free, and most people pay some or all of the costs of their care. We will assess your finances to see what you’ll need to pay.
If you have more than £23,250 in capital and assets, you’ll be expected to pay for your care yourself. This does not include the value of your property unless you’re moving into a care home.
If you need social care support and have less than £23,250 in capital and assets, we will complete a financial assessment and let you know what you need to contribute towards your care.
For further information see our leaflet: What you will need to pay towards the cost of your care and support.
When you contact us we will talk to you about what will happen next and how long it is likely to take.
Control over your care
From working out your care and support needs, to deciding what support you get, you’ll be able to have your say at every stage.
For more information see our factsheet: Assessment, support planning and review.
If you are eligible for support and for us to contribute toward the cost of your care, one of the ways you can have control is by choosing direct payments. Direct payments are an agreed amount of money that we give you so that you can arrange your own care.
You can use this money to organise and buy the care and support you need, for example by employing your own personal assistant, to help you with personal care and household tasks. If you want to employ your own personal assistant, we can support you to do this legally and safely.
If you’re paying for your own care and support, we can still help you find and arrange services.
Accommodation and housing options
If you tell us you no longer feel able to remain in your own home, we can talk to you about accommodation and support options.
There are various organisations that provide different types of housing and accommodation support. These include sheltered housing schemes, supported housing, supported living and extra care schemes (which have 24-hour on-site care staff), or residential care homes. Your eligibility for these types of accommodation may depend on the outcome of a social care assessment.
For more information you can contact us.
You can also find more information about paying for residential care in our leaflet: What you will need to pay towards the cost of your care and support.
More information on housing options
You can find more information on housing and accommodation options, including local residential care and nursing homes, in our directory, East Sussex 1Space.
Website: 1Space housing and accommodation
Care Quality Commission
You can look up or request information on registered care homes from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the organisation that regulates health and social care services.
Website: Care Quality Commission
Phone: 03000 616 161
Care Choices produces directories of care services and includes advice on choosing a care home.
If you need support to manage your housing
There is support available to help adults aged 16 and over (single people, couples and families) to live independently and to find or stay in their own home. This includes services which visit people in their own home, and specialist accommodation services for young people, young parents, people with a mental health condition or a learning disability, homeless people and women needing women’s refuges. For more information contact us.
If you’re at risk of homelessness
If you or someone you know is homeless or about to become homeless, you should first contact the housing office at your local district or borough council.
Website: Lewes District Council
Phone: 01273 471 600
Website: Eastbourne Borough Council
Phone: 01323 410 000
Website: Hastings Borough Council
Phone: 01424 451 100
Website: Rother District Council
Phone: 01424 787 000
Website: Wealden District Council
Phone: 01323 443 380 or 01323 443 322
If you're not sure which district or borough you are in, use Find your local authority – GOV.UK.
If you look after someone else
You are a carer if you look after someone who wouldn’t be able to manage everyday life without your help. This could be an adult relative, partner, friend or neighbour.
If you look after someone you can ask for information, advice and support to help you in this role, and there are local schemes and organisations you can access.
For example, the East Sussex Carers Card allows you to register an emergency plan and offers discounts from shops and services. You can also join local support groups, and access information, advice and training for carers.
Care for the Carers is a local support organisation for carers. If you want to find out more about what is available, or if you’re not sure what you need contact them at:
As a carer you may be eligible for support from us in your own right. To be eligible, you must meet national eligibility criteria. To find out if you meet the criteria, you can complete a carer's assessment or contact us.
Care for the Carers can also help you to complete your carer's assessment.
For more information read our leaflet: Do you look after someone?
Keeping people safe
Everyone has a right to live a life free from abuse and neglect. Safeguarding adults is how people can get help to stop abuse and neglect from happening.
Adults who have care and support needs and are unable to protect themselves may be at risk of abuse or neglect. Care and support needs may relate to a person’s age, physical or learning disability, mental health needs or other illness.
Abuse and neglect can come in many different forms, including:
- physical abuse (includes being hit, slapped, kicked, pinched or misuse of medication)
- domestic abuse (includes any incident or patterns of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members)
- psychological or emotional abuse (includes being shouted at, ridiculed, bullied, threatened or controlled by intimidation or fear)
- neglect and acts of omission (when medical, physical and / or emotional needs are ignored)
- financial abuse (when someone misuses or steals money or property, including scams and being pressurised into giving people money or paying for things)
- sexual abuse (includes any sexual activity that someone does not agree to or cannot agree to)
- organisational abuse (includes neglect and poor professional practice in a care setting such as a hospital, care home, or in a person’s own home)
- self-neglect (when a person is unable and / or unwilling to care for themselves or allow others to do so)
- modern slavery (this can take many forms including but not limited to slavery, sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude)
- discriminatory abuse (occurs when people are harassed, insulted or treated badly because of age, culture, mental health needs, disability, gender, race, sexual orientation, or religion or belief)
How to report abuse and neglect
If a crime is in progress, in an emergency or if life is at risk, call 999. To report a crime when it is not an emergency call 101.
If you have a concern about someone else let the person know that help is available and talk to them about what they want to do.
If you suspect abuse or neglect call us on 0345 60 80 191 at any time (calls outside of opening hours will be connected to the Emergency Duty Service).
What will happen next?
We will always take any report of abuse or neglect seriously and will ensure the circumstances are looked into fully, in a fair and confidential way.
- talk with the person who is at risk to find out what they want to happen in relation to the concern
- support the person to have an advocate (someone to represent them) if they need one
- talk to the police if a crime may have been committed
- talk to other agencies that need to be involved
- agree the best way of helping, including considering other types of support
Other ways to find information on social care support
The NHS has produced a comprehensive guide to social care.
Locally, if you’d like further information on what’s happening in your community, like clubs, societies and events, you can use the East Sussex Community Information Service (ESCIS).
You can also visit East Sussex 1Space, our online directory of care, support and wellbeing services.
Support with Confidence
Our Support with Confidence scheme provides a directory of providers who offer home care and support services for adults in East Sussex. All scheme members have been vetted and approved to ensure they are committed to the highest level of quality, safety and training.
Services include support with personal care, gardening and home maintenance, pet services, complementary and therapeutic services, personal development, day centres, leisure facilities, transport, and more.
For more information:
Living a healthy lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone. Whether you have a long-term condition or not, making changes to your lifestyle like stopping smoking and achieving a healthier weight can have a very positive impact on your life.
To find out more about making changes to your lifestyle:
Website: One You East Sussex
Phone: 01323 404 600
Our leaflets and factsheets
We offer a wide range of leaflets and factsheets on topics including assessment, support planning and review, financial assessment and paying for care, safeguarding, mental capacity, and managing someone’s affairs. See our leaflets and factsheets page.
You can get all of our leaflets and factsheets in a format to suit you. If you would prefer this information in an alternative format or language please ask us.
If you want to make a complaint or give feedback about your experience of social care
We want to provide high quality services for everyone in East Sussex, so it’s always helpful when you tell us what you think, whether this is good or bad.
If you want to compliment a member of staff or service you can contact the team directly.
If you want to make a complaint, a good start is to contact the person or team who has been involved in the situation you want to complain about. They will try to sort things out quickly.
If you would rather speak to someone else contact our Complaints and Feedback Team to give us any feedback, including suggestions or compliments.
See our Complaints and Feedback page for more details.
Healthwatch East Sussex
Healthwatch East Sussex is your local consumer champion for health and social care. For information about Healthwatch East Sussex and or to leave feedback about your experiences of services:
Website: Healthwatch East Sussex
Phone: 0333 101 4007
If you would like to be involved in shaping our services, we are always looking for new members to join the People Bank. The People Bank is a database of volunteers who have an interest in our services. Membership is voluntary and there are many ways you can be involved.
Once you have joined and told us how you’d like to be involved, the People Bank team will be able to match you with opportunities when they are available. For more information:
Phone: 01273 481 565