Guidance for staff about assessment, care/support planning and review under the Care Act 2014. These FAQs were last updated on 22 May 2015.
Why does the CSP1 show times separately against each task rather than letting us simply record the lengths of visits?
We're expecting to change how this works in the next upgrade.
The reason was part two of the form is about needs rather than the plan for meeting them. There are two reasons why we have to make this distinction. One is that we should be encouraging people to take control of their care and support through a direct payment – and we shouldn't be prescribing in detail how people with a direct payment will arrange things.
The other is that we expect, possibly as soon as next year, to have to set independent personal budgets for self-funders, whose actual arrangements may be quite different from any assumptions we make in setting their budget. For instance, they might have their eligible needs met by paid workers, who are also providing other services, which would not be eligible for public funding.
In practice, the way we are doing this is causing confusion – and isn't easy for service users to understand. What we are intending to do in the next version is remove the requirement to record care worker times against each task, and instead have an indicative care and support plan, which is more like a traditional care plan based on visits. The form will make it clear that people with direct payments don't have to follow the indicative plan, though it will act as the basis for discussions about how much money they need.
In the meantime, the key to showing the right number of hours of support on the existing form is to make sure you only enter the time required for each visit once. You don't need to show time against tasks at all, if they will be carried out by support workers who will be with the person all the time to protect them from risks. The time of the support workers should be shown in part 2b. If tasks will
be carried out by care workers visiting, and several tasks will be carried out on a single visit, you should usually show the whole length of visit against the main task to be carried out (though it may sometimes be sensible to split it between tasks).
If you are putting the total length of the visit against the main task, you should then, against each of the other tasks, use the dropdown option of ‘After taking account of any likely opportunities to combine this task with other care and support that you need, we would expect that carrying out this task each time it is needed will typically take no additional time’.
If this would make the form confusing, an alternative approach is to create a new combined task, by clicking on ‘Click to add another task’. For instance, you might start a new task with ‘You need help to carry out necessary tasks at lunchtime’, and then explain underneath this what those tasks are, as well as why the person needs help with them and how much help they need.
If someone needs two care workers for part of a visit, and only one for the remainder of it, this is likely to be because the second care worker is only required for one of the tasks to be carried out. In this case, it makes sense to split the time between the two separate tasks. For instance, showing half an hour for getting the person out of bed and ready, with two care workers, and an additional quarter of an hour for making breakfast, with one worker.
If you come across examples of situations where it is difficult to find a sensible way to explain how much time the person needs, or where the solution you find is clumsy, please contact the systems helpdesk if you need an urgent answer. Or email CareActQueries
if there isn't an immediate problem, but you want to bring an issue to our attention.
How do I record a need for day care?
Day care isn't itself a need, so the form should record the needs day care is proposed as a solution to. Usually the issue will be that it is important for the person to be able to get out of the house – to give a carer a break or for company/stimulation – but they can't do that without someone keeping an eye on them as they would be at risk.
The way to record this would therefore usually be in part 2b of the form, where you should set out the risks the person would face if they didn't have someone with them when they are out of the house. You should then click the ‘update’ link in the section at the end of part 2b about ‘Support with unpredictable risks from carers or care workers’ so that you can add details of the level of support they require.
Usually this would be likely to be ‘nearby’ support, which is equivalent to what was entered on the former SDS1 form as support which wasn't ‘undivided attention’. You should only pick ‘intensive support’ if the person specifically needs 1:1 support. As on the SDS1, the calculation of the indicative personal budget is based on the number of hours of support that the person needs. For ‘nearby support’, it is assumed support will be shared with others.
Usually someone who needs support to be safe out of the house should be referred to a support planner to consider personalised solutions, which could be achieved within the indicative budget. However, if the solution you arrive at is a traditional day care service, you would enter that in the ‘New or changed care and support services’ section in Part 6. If a day care service is already in place and will continue, information about this service will automatically be inserted into part 5 of the form from Swift.
How do I fill in the CSP1 when someone is living in a care home, or having their needs met by staff in a supported living scheme?
There are now options designed for this purpose in the dropdowns for tasks in part 2a of the form and risks in part 2b. These are intended to be used only for reviews of people living in a care home or a supported living scheme. These options should be added automatically to existing draft copies of the CSP1 when they are next opened in Swift, as well as being available in new CSP1s.
However, they will not be added to the form while it is checked out onto a tablet. If you need them added to a form which you current have on your tablet, you should check it back in to Swift. You can then immediately check it out again if you want to continue working on the tablet, and it should be updated when you next open it.
If either of the new options is selected, when you click the red + , the form will check that the person is indeed living in a care home or supported living scheme. If the accommodation section of the form does not say this, a dialog box will be displayed warning that you are trying to enter inconsistent information. In this case, you will need to update the information about the person’s accommodation before you can proceed.
The new option for each task in part 2a is ‘You need help from staff in your care setting’. If this option is selected, you then need to answer just two questions about the task: ‘You need help because...’ and ‘The help that you need is...’ The other questions, which are displayed for people living in the community, do not appear.
You do not have to select this option for every task that the person needs help with. For instance, if the person goes out regularly with a family or friend carer, and this is how they meet their need ‘to stay in touch with your family, or other people who are important to you’, you should select the option ‘You need help’, and describe that arrangement. Similarly, if the person needs additional support over and above the normal staffing of a care home, or if they get some task-based support in a supported living scheme, it will probably be appropriate to describe this in the same way as if they were living in ordinary housing.
A similar change has been made in part 2b of the form, with a new option added against each type of risk: ‘Staff in your care setting must watch risks to you’.
In a similar way to part 2a, choosing this option cuts the further information back to just two questions: ‘You are at risk because...’ and ‘What staff will need to do to protect you from risk is...’
Do I have to fill in a CSP1 to arrange an urgent change to the services for someone whose current assessment is still on an old CP1?
You don't need to do that immediately in order to make the change to the service. You can arrange the change by contacting the brokers, who have a simplified form for recording the changes and getting budget approval for them. However, you should then complete a full CSP1 with the person within the following four weeks.
The steps the care manager should follow are:
- Agree the change with the budget holder (this can be done orally).
- Record the agreement and the reasons for the change in a contact note.
- Contact the brokerage service and ask them to make the change.
The broker will make the service arrangements, fill in a brief form to record them, send this to the provider and update the services in Swift. They will add a new review date on Swift in four weeks’ time. We will be monitoring whether these reviews (which should use the CSP1) take place on time.
When should I complete a CSP2 for a carer?
When you are carrying out a needs assessment for someone, you should always encourage any carer(s) who are providing a substantial amount of support to them to agree to an assessment of their own needs on a CSP2. Other carers also have a right to ask for an assessment, even if they are providing much less support to the person.
The CSP1 doesn't include a box for ‘carer views’, as the old CP1 did. This is because of the clear expectation in the Care Act and associated guidance, that we will document the impact on carers more comprehensively than we usually did in the past.
Currently, to record a carer assessment, you need to go in Swift to the carer's record, and record a carer assessment on the assessments screen. See the Swift manual on needs assessment recording for details.
If you didn't expect to be assessing a carer when you call on someone (for instance, because you weren't aware of them until you made your visit), there should be a template for creating a CSP2 in the same folder on the tablet as the CSP1. You can complete a carer assessment on this template. When you get back to the office you will have to cut and paste the text into a CSP2 for the carer, generated from Swift (you may be able to get admin to help with this).
Sometimes, carers will benefit from an assessment even if the person they are looking after does not want a needs assessment (for instance, because they are paying privately or don't want any paid-for support). Usually in this situation, we advise people first to talk to Carers Northumberland, who may be able to give them the advice and support they need without involvement from statutory services. Carers have a right to an assessment by us if they want one – and sometimes Carers Northumberland will advise people that they would benefit from one.
What details from the CSP1 do I need to ask admin to record on Swift?
Care managers should tell admin if you have entered any of the following new information on a CSP1, because it needs to be separately entered on Swift:
- details of a new professional or service involved
- amendment of details of an existing professional involved
- details of a new family member/friend
- amendment of details of an existing family member/friend
- consent to share information with professionals/family members/friends (the next answer says more about how this should be done)
- email addresses
- section 117 aftercare status under the Mental Health Act
- a CSP2 created using the template on the tablet rather than in Swift
We are hoping to automate part of this process before long, but for now care managers are responsible for making sure admin know what information needs to be entered into Swift.
If admin have any issues about how to enter the information, after consulting the Swift guidance, they should contact the systems helpline.
How is consent recorded on the CSP1?
The CSP1 includes all the information which we have previously recorded on the CP2, though it is presented differently:
- When you add or amend details of a professional or service, you can say whether the person has agreed that professional or service can share information with us. However, some professionals may still ask for signed consent. You should check if this will be required, and you will need to use the CP2 as well as the CSP1 if it is. This corresponds to question 3 on the CP2.
- Below the clickable link for adding details of a professional or service, there is a question about whether there are any special issues about us sharing information with others involved in the person's care and support. This corresponds to question 1 on the CP2.
- When you add or amend details of a family member or friend, there is a question asking, ‘Do you want us to send them copies of your assessment and related information?’ This corresponds to question 2 on the CP2.
We intend to shortly introduce a procedure for recording the first and third pieces of information on Swift so they can be pulled back as part of the information about professionals/related people, which is automatically inserted into the CSP1 from Swift.
But for now, we have asked admin to enter this information on Swift as if it had been filled in on a CP2. However, you do not need to complete a CP2 as well as the CSP1, unless another professional or service says they need a signed consent document before sharing information with you.
When should the CSP1 be sent to the person who has been assessed as a final care and support plan?
The drop-down at the top of the form should say it is ‘not yet the final result’ until any changed services have been put onto Swift and a financial assessment has been put on Swift. This is because it is a Care Act requirement for the care and support plan to include the ‘personal budget’ – which, in Care Act language means the statement pulled in from Swift in part 5 showing what your service costs, what you will pay towards it, and what the local authority contribution will be.
The ‘personal budget’ will be out of date or missing if services and the financial assessment aren't up to date on Swift. At present, that will mainly just cause confusion, but if the Government's proposed cap on care costs goes ahead in April 2016, it will be essential to have personal budgets right on the care and support plan we send out because the personal budget determines what will be credited to people's care accounts.
Once you have saved the CSP1 as ‘the final result’, it can't be further updated.
If the person wants a copy of the draft care and support plan, or the assessment, before the services and financial assessment are on Swift, you can send them a copy described at the top as a ‘draft care and support plan’ and ‘not yet the final result’.
The questions about help needed with tasks don't fit well for many learning disability/mental health service users?
For many people with a learning disability or mental health issues, the key reasons for providing support will be unpredictable risks they face as a result of their condition, rather than tasks that they are unable to carry out. For instance, the person may need support to manage their behaviour, or to make sure they don't harm themselves when they get confused.
If you are assessing someone who needs support for reasons like this, we would recommend going through part 2b of the form before part 2a. It may then be appropriate to record all of most of the support which the person needs under the ‘Support with unpredictable risks from carers or care workers’ heading at the end of part 2b. Remember that you need to click the ‘update’ link under this heading to open up the questions about support needed from carers/care workers.)
You should then check through part 2a, but it may quickly be obvious that no task-based care and support is needed, in which case the answers to all questions in that part will be ‘You do not need help’.
Where would I record on the CSP1 that someone has a learning disability ‘passport’ for acute hospital stays?
There isn't at present a specific place for this kind of information, but a sensible solution would be to add a sentence in bold at the end of the first box in part 1 (‘Your disabilities or health conditions, or any other reasons why you need care and support, are summarised in the box below’), saying something like ‘You have a hospital passport which describes in detail the things which hospital staff should know if you need treatment’.
Why is the indicative personal budget lower than the final personal budget?
The first paragraph in part 5 gives a brief explanation of why this may be the case. In more detail, one reason why this is often the position is that the indicative personal budget is based on direct payment rates, whereas actual services may be from agency home care providers.
Other reasons can include traditional day care being more expensive than the level of support which you have assessed someone needs when they are out of the house, or a person getting 1:1 support for practical reasons when you have assessed they wouldn't actually need if an arrangement based on shared support was possible.
If the person has a carer who is under 18, do I need to refer them to children's services?
If someone has a young carer who appears to need support, you must refer them to children's services. You also need to tell the young carer and their parents that the young carer has a right to an assessment, if they want one; even if you do not think they appear to have a need for support.
We are currently clarifying the details of the process for this – in the meantime, Lynne Maughan in children's services (Lynne.Maughan@northumberland.gov.uk
) can provide advice.
When do client & provider copies of the form need to be saved?
You don't need to go through the whole of the form with everyone you assess, discussing every question.
Assessments should be proportionate to the person's needs. In particular, if most of the tasks in part 2a or most of the risks in part 2b are clearly not relevant to the person, you might just show the person the list, and say ‘is there anything else on this list that you think we should talk about?’ You may find it easiest to do that using
Information Sheet C2, rather than the tablet – the list of needs in the information sheet is the same as the list in the CSP1, though it's presented slightly differently to fit it on the page.
I’, or ‘you’ or ‘Mrs Smith’? And who is ‘us’?
The form is designed on the basis that the person it is about is referred to as ‘you’. You should follow this style even if the person does not have capacity and the form will in fact be sent to someone else such as a family member.
If the person doesn't have the capacity to answer a question, and you are recording what a family member told you, make it clear who actually gave you the information – e.g. write ‘Your daughter told us that...’, not ‘You told us that...’ if that's what happened.
‘I’ and ‘us’ on the form should refer to you as the assessor and to us as an organisation. The standard text says ‘us’ because the document reflects our organisational decisions – which may sometimes be the result of discussions between multiple professionals and their managers.
But if it is more natural to say ‘I’ when referring to yourself, that's fine, so long as you are the person listed in part 6 as responsible for the assessment, and so long as you are confident that the people you are sending it to will know which of the people they met is you.
Why does the form keep referring to a ‘carer or a care worker’?
Social services legislation has for a long time used the word ‘carer’ specifically to mean a friend, family member or partner who provides unpaid care. It is still not unusual for staff to refer to a paid care worker as a ‘carer’, but now that the Care Act requires us to provide people with much more documentation, and gives carers more explicit rights, we do need to make sure we are clear about who we are talking about.
The CSP forms only use ‘carer’ to mean a family/friend carer, never to mean a care worker. (So, for instance, the answer to the question in Part 3 about whether your care and support arrangements depend on a carer is ‘no’ if the arrangements depend only on care workers.)
Can the person being assessed fill in part of the form before the visit?
We are developing online versions of the questions in the CSP1 and CSP2, which will enable people to fill in their answers before talking to a needs assessor, but this won't be ready for another month or two.
The colouring of the drop downs doesn't seem to be consistent
It isn't entirely consistent at present. Drop-downs with a red + against them are blue if the default answer hasn't been changed, and when the red + is clicked, it turns black if it has been changed. Other drop-downs generally stay blue whatever is selected, though they do change if they are in the same paragraph as a dropdown with a red +.
We intend to adopt a more consistent colouring scheme in a future enhancement, and may also try to give other indications about the state of the form – for instance, by giving an indication of which questions have not yet had the answers confirmed when someone is reassessed. But we need to consider what would be most useful. Comments on this would be welcome.
Copies of the needs assessment handbook which is the primary reference on how to complete the new forms are currently being published to a folder on the shared S: drive rather than to this page.