Let’s Talk Social Care Services: For people with M.E. and those who take care of them | 15 June 2018

 


What do we mean by social care and social care services?

Social care and social care services are provided by your local authority and come in the form of financial or practical assistance.

NHS Choices

NHS Choices provides a good outline of the social care that is available, including:

  • how you qualify,
  • what a care needs assessment entails,
  • how to obtain a carer’s assessment,
  • what a financial assessment entails,
  • the different benefits that might be obtained,
  • what a personal budget means and how it can be administered.

“Care and support services, also known as social care services, help people who are in need of practical support because of illness, disability, old age or a low income.

“Care and support services could include having a personal assistant to help you around the home, structural changes to help you move around or manage in your house, or even an alarm system so that you can call for help if you have a fall.

“Social care services are available to everyone, regardless of their background. However, social care is subject to rules about your needs and ability. Services can also support the families or carers of people who receive social care.”

ME Association Help

The ME Association has produced a leaflet ‘Getting Help from Social Services’ which might be of particular help if you need to challenge a local authority decision or want to know your rights under the law; and other leaflets relating to disabled grants, and disability benefits. These can all be downloaded from our website shop.

Local Authority Provision

Local authorities have a legal obligation to provide social care services to people in need including carers.

However, local authorities seem to vary considerably in the way they administer their responsibility in this regard.

What have been your experiences of social care provision?

People with M.E. and their carers are as entitled to social care services as anyone else who is in need, and we’d like to hear how you managed with your own local council’s provision.

Please leave your comments below, or on our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter), and, if you want to respond at length on this subject, do email me (Russell Fleming) with your experiences.

Here are some questions to help:

  • Did you receive any help or guidance from your GP with regard to social care assistance?
  • Have you ever contacted your local council and obtained a care needs assessment? Do you think you should?
  • If you did obtain an assessment, what criteria did they assess you on? And what measures did you meet or fail the criteria by that related specifically to M.E.?
  • Did you find that being in receipt of personal independence payment helped your application for social care?
  • If successful, did you obtain a personal care budget? Was it sufficient for your needs?
  • Did you have to contribute any of your own money following a financial assessment?
  • Did you opt for direct payments or choose to let the council administer your personal budget?
  • What kind of things do you spend your personal budget on?
  • Have you encountered any difficulties recruiting a reliable person to help around your house or to take care of you? If you have, then what were the difficulties?

If you are a carer for someone with M.E.

  • If you have someone who cares for you (or are a carer yourself), did you receive any help or guidance from your GP?
  • As a carer, did you realise that social care support was available?
  • Did you apply for a carers assessment from your local authority? If so, what was the outcome?
  • Has the social care support you received as a carer helped? If so, in what way?

NHS Choices provides an overview of the benefits that might be available to carers and an explanation of the carer’s assessment.

There is also a useful video from a carer who explains what she did when she first had to take on this role and responsibility:

Share your experiences

We’d really like to learn more about your experience of social care and how different local councils assess and respond to the needs of people with M.E. and their carers.

And we’d appreciate any Tips or Advice you might like to share with others who are considering making contact with their local authority and requesting a care needs assessment or carers assessment.

Thank you.


Images have been taken from the ME Association ‘Real M.E.’ photo campaign. The campaign is still running, if you want to forward your photos or video clips. See our recent blog for more information. Apologies if you have sent in photos recently and I haven’t responded, it’s been very busy, but I hope to do so very soon.