Am I a carer?
You are a carer if you provide un-paid help to someone who
depends upon you because of frailty, mental or physical health
problems, illness or drug/alcohol misuse. You may not live in the
same house and you do not have to be related to the person who you
This page provides information to carers who care for adults and
want to know how to ask for an assessment of their own needs.
Parents caring for children with special needs should contact the
For information on how the needs of the person you care for can be
assessed go to Social
Carer's needs assesment: why and how to ask for one?
The purpose of being assessed is to help you
to think about the impact caring has on your own life and help you
find solutions. You can ask for a carer's needs assessment even if
the person you care for does not want to see a care manager or does
not want services.
If you provide substantial and regular care,
you have a legal right to an assessment. You can have your needs
- Asking for a separate discussion with a care
manager to allow you to focus specifically on your needs.
- Discussing your needs with the care manager
as part of the assessment for the person you look after, or during
a review of their care plan.
If you want to set limits to the care you are
prepared to give, or to stop providing care altogether,
the care manager will respect your right to do this.
If you have had an assessment but either your
needs or the needs of the person you care for have changed you
should contact the care manager again to request a
Your care manager will try to help you to find solutions to all
the problems which you face as a carer. However our budget
only permits us to provide publicly-funded services to meet the
most critical needs.
Information sheet 2 explains the general circumstances in which
we are able to offer help to ill or disabled people.
In addition there are some needs of carers that we will always make
sure are met, if there is a safe and feasible way to do so.
This does not always mean that we will provide services, if there
are other available solutions – but we will offer services if that
If you are always exhausted as a result of caring responsibilities,
we will make sure you can get respite.
We will discuss with you what level of relief is needed, but we
have set some minimum standards:
• If you are a full-time carer, we will make sure you have at
least two hours each day when you are not actively providing
someone with care, and at least two hours each week when you
can be away from the person you look after
• If you have heavy care responsibilities, we will make sure
you can get at least a week every year without the responsibility
of looking after the person you care for, and talk to you about
other ways of taking time away from caring.
Short breaks for carers can be an option that can be arranged in
a number of ways. Traditionally, the usual arrangement was for the
person who is ill or disabled to stay for a short period in a care
home - often one which specialises in offering short breaks, though
many care homes can provide this service occasionally. This is
still the best solution for some people, but we can also help
people to plan other ways of taking a break, for instance by
providing more support for the person to stay at home while you are
away, or by helping with an arrangement in which someone else will
look after them.
You can ask your care manager about different
short break options. There is a charge for short break care in a
care home - see the charges
page for further information.
Telephone: 01670 536
Email address: Socialcare@northumbria.nhs.uk
You can also contact the care
manager of the person you care for.
Our Carers Guide
Family and Friends Carers' Guide (also available in Polish)
explains the types of help and support you need as a carer and how
to access it. It also explains in detail how a carer's needs
assessment can help you and it makes suggestions about how to
prepare for it. For a printed copy please contact Carers
Northumberland (below) or Michele O'Brien (Carers &
Partnerships Manager) on
Telephone: 01670 536 400
Email address: Michele.Obrien@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk
Carers Wellbing Checklist
Carers’ Health and Wellbeing Checklist is yours to keep and
aims to help you think about your own health, how your caring role
affects your life and to consider things you can change to make
caring easier. The purpose of the wellbeing check is to help you
access health interventions early and to continue caring safely in
a way that suits you, without your own health suffering. Ask your
Care Manager, Carers Northumberland or any professional you work
with for a hard copy or contact 01670 394527.
is a support service for carers in Northumberland. It works in
partnership with other agencies across the county to offer a
one-stop information service to carers, support groups, short break
opportunities and events. Click
here to read a copy of their leaflet
Telephone: 0844 800 73 54
Email address: email@example.com
Carers Northumberland have also produced a
number of other leaflets:
Frequently Asked questions (FAQ)
What support is there for carers in
Support for carers is available through the Care Management
system and Carers Northumberland, who offer a range of carer
support services tailored to meet carer needs across the county,
including individual support, groups and social
To access this service contact contact us on 01670 536
400 or contact the care manager of the person you care
for or Carers Northumberland on 0844 800
What help can I get if I am caring and
Combining paid work and caring can be difficult and there is a
growing recognition of the support needs of working carers. Taking
on caring responsibilities should not mean that you have to give up
work. A carer’s assessment should take into account a carer's wish
to work or undertake training.
For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/
What benefits can I receive as a carer?
There are a range of benefits, tax credits and other financial
support that you may be able to receive as a carer. To find out
which benefits you could be eligible for as a carer visit
https://www.gov.uk/ or talk to us on
01670 536 400. You can also ask the care
manager of the person you care for or ring Carers
Northumberland on 0844 800 7354.
What is Carer’s Allowance?
Carer's Allowance is a benefit that may be paid to carers of
working age who provide more than 35 hours of care a week.
Entitlement is linked to the benefits paid to the person being
cared for, however, you don't have to be related to, or live with,
the person you care for.
For full details of individual entitlement, visit https://www.gov.uk/
What is a carer’s assessment?
If you provide a lot of care on regular basis to a relative or
friend, and your caring role is having an impact on your life, you
have the legal right to ask for a carer’s assessment. A carer's
assessment is your opportunity to tell social care about things
that could make caring easier for you. You can discuss help you
need with caring, to maintain your own health, and to balance
caring with other aspects of your life, like work and family.
You also have a right to an assessment if: you intend to look
after someone; you are caring for a disabled child; your needs as a
carer will be considered as part of the needs of your child.
The services that might be provided to carers include:substitute
care to enable you to have a break from your caring role; support
with particular tasks or equipment to help you care; advice and
support in your role as a carer; benefits information and
I need a break from my caring responsibilities. Is there
any help available to me?
If the person you care for has a Care Manager, speak to them
about short break care arrangements to enable you to take
a break. A Carer’s Assessment should help identify what breaks you
need and how these will be arranged.
Carers Northumberland can also offer small grants through the
Carer Support Fund, to help you fund a short break for yourself, if
your family’s financial position means this would be difficult
otherwise. This could be a trip away, a night at the theatre,
regular participation in a hobby or sport or a wide range of other
things, as long as it means you have a short break to re-charge