Northumberland County Council > Health & social care > Adult social care services

Care and support for adults

also known as: Help at home, Needs assessment, Personal budgets, Self-directed support, Social Care, Social Services.

This page describes how we arrange support for people who have a disability or a long-term illness, and how we aim to make sure that people are in control of their own support arrangements.

"Social care" support for ill or disabled adults in Northumberland is operated by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust under its partnership with the County Council. (Support for working age adults with mental health problems is operated by the Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, under a separate partnership).

On this page you can find an introduction to the way we arrange support, and a series of information sheets explaining further details. There are also links to useful information materials produced elsewhere.

New legislation came into force from April 2015 which brings some changes to the way care and support for adults is organised. For further information about the Care Act 2014 please click here.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) monitors, inspects and regulates CQC registered services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and publish what they find, including performance ratings to help people choose care.

The ratings are divided into five categories, with an overall rating for each service. Northumberland County Council provides nine services which are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). CQC have this year introduced a new rating system which includes rating for five categories and an overall rating for the service.

To date, not all of our services have experienced this new CQC inspection process, however all our services have consistently received positive outcomes in previous inspections. We welcome the CQC’s reports and the contribution this makes to our ongoing improvement of our services.

Where our performance falls below our own and the CQC’s high standards an action plan is introduced and effective monitoring procedures put in place to bring those areas up to the expected standard.

Service name: Chibburn Court

Address: 10 Chibburn Court, Widdrington, Northumberland, NE61 5QT

Chibburn Court provides residential care to people with learning disabilities for three adults with learning disabilities and complex needs. The service is provided in a large adapted bungalow within its own grounds located within a quiet residential cul-de-sac.

Staff provide 24 hour care seven days a week. Each service user has an individual support plan and support includes assistance with personal care, daily living skills and activities as well as ongoing support from health and social care services.

The staff team provide person-centred physical and emotional support to service users whilst carrying out and actively supporting service users with a number of domestic type duties such as cleaning, laundry, shopping and cooking. Staff support service users to engage in social and community activities, both within their own home and the local community.


Service name: Northumberland Supported Living

Address: Sea Lodge, Beach Road, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 5LF

Northumberland Supported Living Service provides an independent supported living service at Sea Lodge for two adults with learning disabilities. Service users have secured tenancy agreements and live in a large adapted bungalow within its own grounds with private beach in Cresswell.

As well as assisting the clients with personal daily living activities the staff team carry out all the housekeeping duties including cleaning, laundry, shopping and cooking. Service users have their own personal individual mobility cars and staff support them to access community activities and services they enjoy.

Service name: Shared Lives Northumberland

Address: Northumbria Healthcare, Merley Croft, Loansdean, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2DL

Shared Lives Northumberland provides support in a family home for adults who are unable to live alone. The service and team of five staff is based at Merley Croft, Loansdean and supports approximately 45 service users with learning, physical or health related disabilities and their carers across Northumberland.

Most service users do not need residential care but are unable to live without consistent and reliable support from someone who knows them. Living in someone’s home provides a better quality and more appropriate lifestyle for the person.


Short Term Support Service Northumberland

The Short Term Support Service provides care and rehabilitation in people’s homes for patients in Northumberland following a serious accident or illness; or a short period of personal care and practical support for people with cancer or a life limiting illness and their families.

The aim is to help people live independently and safely. The service focuses on things which are important to the service user with an emphasis on trying to help them regain skills and confidence.

The service can provide a rehabilitation programme led by a physiotherapist or occupational therapist; help with tasks such as washing, dressing or meal preparation; and equipment or minor adaptations to people’s homes to help them live safely and independently. The CQC inspects this service by geographical area. Below are ratings for the service in each area:


Service name: North Locality Homecare

Address: 3, Linnet Court, Hawfinch Drive, Cawledge Park, Alnwick, NE22 2GD


Service name: Homecare North

Address: Council Offices, Wallace Green, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 1ED


Central and South

Service name: South East Locality Home Care

Address: The Harbour Suite, Blyth Community Hospital, Thoroton Street, Blyth NE24 1DX


Service name: West Locality Home Care

Address: Dene Park House, Corbridge Road, Hexham, NE46 1HN


Service name: Tynedale House

Address: Tynedale Drive, Cowpen, Blyth, Northumberland, NE24 4LH

Tynedale House offers long-term residential accommodation and short-term respite care for adults with learning disabilities. The residential service provides personal care and support through individual support plans and ongoing support from Health and Social care services.

The service also works closely with other providers of care delivering support on a one-to-one basis to users on site. The respite service provides short-term care for adults with learning disabilities to support the well-being of the carer and the person who is being cared for.

Stays can be as short or as long as needed. Respite can also provide parents and families with a necessary and valuable break from caring responsibilities.


Service name: Wansbeck Supported Living Service

Address: 2, Hatfield Chase, Bedlington, Northumberland, NE22 5LB

Wansbeck Supported Living Service offers an independent supported living domiciliary service for adults with learning disabilities within their own homes.

The service is provided within their own purpose built bungalows, and clients have their own tenancy agreements with the local housing association Bernicia. Staff provide 24 hour support seven days a week including supporting service users’ with personal care, encouraging independence and social and psychological support with daily living skills.

The service assists and helps support service users to be valued and included in their communities; to access community facilities and social and leisure activities; to access resources; to remain safe within their home environment and to develop the necessary skills to support independence and achieve their individual choices and personal aspirations.

People’s lives shouldn’t have to stop because they are disabled or have a long-term illness. We aim to make sure that people can get the support they need to enable them to continue to live in the way they want. We offer two kinds of support arrangement:

  • Crisis support for people who urgently need help after a health crisis or a serious accident.
  • Self-directed support for people with longer-term support needs

Crisis support focuses on making sure that people’s immediate needs are met, and on helping them to recover and become independent. Many people only need crisis support. Self-directed support aims to put people in charge of their own support arrangements. People are offered a personal budget which they are encouraged to manage themselves, or with help from family and friends, though we can also make arrangements on people's behalf. We set the amount of the personal budget based on a shared assessment. Personal budgets can be used flexibly to overcome the obstacles which illness or disability put in the way of living in the way you choose. For instance:

  • If you need support with day-to-day tasks, or if you need someone to be on hand to make sure you are safe, you can use a personal budget to employ someone or to make arrangements so that people you know can help you.
  • If you need support to take part in social, leisure or educational activities, you can use a personal budget to arrange that.
  • If family members or friends who usually provide you with support need a break, you can use a personal budget to make whatever arrangements are necessary.

You will need to agree with us a support plan setting out how you will use your personal budget. We will check that this is safe and legal. We can help people to draw up their support plans, or if you want you can do that yourself.

We will review your personal budget and your support plan at intervals to check whether any changes are needed.

If your disability or illness does not cause you any problems in critical areas of life, you may not be eligible for a personal budget. However we may still be able to give you advice about services and equipment which might help you, and about other possibilities such as adaptations to your home (which you may be able to get financial help for).

If your disability or illness is so serious that you cannot realistically stay in your own home, we can help you to move into supported housing or a care home.

We keep information about people we arrange help for in our files and on computer records. This information is shared with other people who need to know it to make arrangements for your support, but is otherwise kept strictly confidential. Ask any of our staff if you want to know what information is being held, or if you would like some information not to be shared.

Most people have to pay a contribution towards the cost of their services, but people would not be expected to pay more than they can reasonably afford based on their income and savings - the amount will depend on your financial circumstances. Some people will be assessed as being able to pay all the costs of their support themselves - but we will still offer them help and advice if they want it. As a general guide, as at April 2014, people with savings of over £23,250* were expected to pay the maximum charge. More information about charges is given in our information sheets below.

*Please check Information Sheet S5 on contributing towards your personal budget, for the latest information on levels of savings and charging.

The list of information sheets which are currently available or in preparation is below. We are adding these to this page as they are completed. Please send us an email to: if you would like copies of any of these information sheets in another format, such as tape or Braille, or if you would like them translated into another language.

The sheets with an asterix next to them are those which we now aim to give to everyone when they first ask us for support.

Information C1* - Advice and Needs Assessment (updated 20 July 2015)

Information Sheet C2* - What we ask about in a needs assessment

Information Sheet C3* - Your entitlement to care and support

Information Sheet C4* - Advice, assessment and support for carers

Information Sheet C5 - Capping the cost of care and support [withdrawn July 2015]

  • This information sheet was about the Government's plans to "cap" the cost of care and support services, to limit the financial risk to people who need a high level of care and support.  These plans were scheduled to be introduced from April 2016, but the Government announced in July 2015 that they will not now be implemented until April 2020.  This information sheet has therefore been withdrawn.

Information Sheet C6* - Care and Support planning

Information Sheet C8* - Paying for care and support

Information Sheet C9* - Charges for living in a care home

Information Sheet C10* - Communicating with us by email

Information Sheet C11* - NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) 

Information sheet C12* - Complaints, Comments and Compliments

Also see - Have Your Say leaflet

Information Sheet S4* - Safeguarding Adults

Information sheet 7 - care in your own home

Information sheet 8 - help with moving into a care home

Documents to follow

Information sheet 9 - living in a care home: your rights

Information sheet 11 - person-centred planning for people with a learning disability

  • PDF (standard)

Information sheet 12 - disability equipment

Information sheet 13 - adaptations to your home

Information sheet 14 - direct payments

Information sheet 15 - seeing a Financial Assessment and Benefits Officer

From the 7 April 2015 until April 2016:

Information sheet 16 - paying for support in the community

From 6 April 2015 until 10 April 2016:

From the 7 April 2014 until April 2015:

Information sheet 17 - reclaiming charges for breaks in services

From 6 April 2015 up to 10 April 2016:

From the 7 April 2014 until April 2015:

Information sheet 19 - maximum charges for community support

From 6 April 2015 up to 10 April 2016

From the 7 April 2014 until April 2015:

Information sheet 20 - charges for a short stay in a care home

From 6 April 2015 up to 10 April 2016:

From the 7 April 2014 until April 2015:

Information sheet 24 - Smoke free environment

Information sheet 29 - Making allowance for the cost of disability

From 6 April 2015 up to 10 April 2016:

From the 7 April 2014 until April 2015:

Information sheet 30 - Closure of the Independent Living Fund

[Notes for care managers and support staff: Each service user should be provided at the time of their initial assessment with a folder containing as many of the above information sheets as are relevant to their circumstances. The basic set of information which should always be included is:

  • sheets S1-S5, sheet S9 and sheets 2-4 (the sheets asterisked in the list above). (Only the information sheets themselves need to be in the basic pack, not any additional information shown in the list above).

Care homes provide care, accommodation and board for people who need a high level of support. They are required by law to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

People who live in Northumberland and need this level of care can get financial support from the County Council, through its partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, if they are not able to afford the fees themselves. You should contact our care management service if you wish to explore this option.

A complete list of registered care homes in all parts of England is available on the CQC website, which also holds inspection reports providing detailed information about the services offered by each home and the quality of what is provided.

Click here to find out more information about Care Homes in Northumberland and to find out about which homes Northumberland County Council contract with and how we check the quality of care.

To find out more about support for carers, click here.

Get involved and have your say

Information about how to get involved in helping shape services through one of the service user forums across Northumberland is available by clicking here.

Northumberland Golden Guide

Northumberland Golden Guide - a comprehensive information guide to services and support for older people in Northumberland, produced in association with Northumberland Council, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Age UK, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and ISOS.

Northumberland Life

Northumberland Life is a local web based directory of groups and services in and around Northumberland. It is a valuable reference for anyone who wants to know what Northumberland's communities can offer, from parents looking for activities for young children to older people looking for like-minded groups; from people who want to take up new activities to people who want to make contact with others affected by the same disability or illness.

The National Careline

The National Careline is a not for profit company offering information about care and support for older people, their carers and their families. It aims to fill the information and advice gap for older people and their relatives who are seeking to find their way through the care maze. The National Careline also provides a wealth of extra information that users may find beneficial in their support and care of the older person.