Information for professionals

Adult social care information for professionals in Northumberland.

Latest information for staff and partners

"Fair cost of care" survey, 2022 

Reports on a survey of the costs of care homes for older people and visit-based home care services carried out during summer 2022 to prepare for the planned (but subsequently deferred) implementation in October 2023 of reforms to adult social care funding. 
The government's Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) asked all local authorities responsible for adult social care to survey care homes for older people and home care services in their area about the costs of providing their services.  The specific reason for carrying out these surveys in 2022 was the plan to change the statutory framework for adult social care in ways which would entitle anyone needing care home accommodation to ask the local authority to contract for this, regardless of their financial circumstances.  After the survey was completed, and the results submitted to DHSC, it was announced that those reforms would be deferred for two years, and we are not certain whether they will now proceed in their original form. 
Because local authorities usually at present contract only for people who cannot afford to pay care home fees themselves, the reforms would have made local authorities responsible for many people who under the current system would contract with a care home privately.  Since many care homes for older people charge higher fees to private residents, this could have caused significant financial issues for both care home operators and local authorities. The government's expectation was that the survey would provide an indication of the extent to which fees paid by local authorities might need to rise as this change took effect, to minimise the impact on care home operators.  The government had also carried out financial modelling which suggested that many local authorities were paying fees for both care home accommodation and visit-based home care services which were not as high as was necessary to sustain the long-term viability of the services. 

DHSC published an impact assessment about the charging reforms that the Government was expecting to introduce in 2023 (PDF document) which explains their expectations about the impact of the reforms on care homes, and the increases to fee levels likely to be required. Guidance about the "fair cost of care" survey was published in July 2022.  A summary of the background is available in a report to the council's cabinet about the survey and the associated Government grant (PDF document) . 

The submitted documents are available below. 

The council submitted in October 2022 the documents required by DHSC summarising the results of the "fair cost of care" survey and explaining its current plans for assessing the fees required to sustain care homes and home care services.  It did not publish these documents at the time, since it understood that DHSC wished to review the submissions before publication, to ensure that the calculations included in them were robust and based on good quality evidence.  Following the decision to defer the planned reforms, DHSC told local authorities in late December 2022 that they should now publish their submissions without waiting for DHSC approval. 
The documents as submitted to DHSC are available through the links below.  These include the draft "Market Sustainability Plan", which the local authority is not required to publish, and which is now mainly of historical interest, since it discusses in detail what the implications of the planned reforms were expected to be.  However, we have published it along with the survey reports in the interests of transparency, and because some of the issues which it discusses might again become relevant if the Government confirms the provisional intention to implement the same (or similar) reforms in 2025. DHSC have told us that we will be asked to produce a final Market Sustainability Plan on a different basis; we do not yet have details of their expectations for that.  They have also indicated that they may still ask some local authorities to review the documents about the survey that they have submitted.  We have so far had no indication that they will ask us to review the documents below, but we will publish revised versions on this page if DHSC contact us and we conclude that we should make changes. 
As explained in the documents and the report to the council's cabinet about this exercise, our conclusion was that, while the surveys provided useful information about the costs of services, there were too many issues about the data for it to act directly as a guide to future fee levels.  Our understanding is that a similar conclusion was reached by many other local authorities, though varying assumptions were made about how best to calculate the figures returned to DHSC. 
Tables showing the figures from the survey as submitted to DHSC are included in this Excel spreadsheet.  Explanations of how these figures were calculated are included in two separate documents, one covering the survey of care homes, the other the survey of home care services. The council's intended approach to setting fees in future (as it was in October before the deferment of the reforms) is in the Provisional Market Sustainability Plan
There are some minor redactions from the documents as submitted to DHSC.  In the explanation of the care home survey results, we have redacted some information which could have identified information supplied in confidence by individual care home operators.  In the Market Sustainability Plan, we have redacted one paragraph discussing legal issues. 
These documents were prepared to meet a tight timetable for the submission, and include some editing errors and typos, which we have left uncorrected since the sense is still clear.  In the case of the explanation of the home care survey, two brief passages of unrelated text became accidentally included in the document as submitted; we have removed those from the published versions above to avoid confusion. 
If you have queries about any of these documents, please let us know by email to


The following documents have been produced to assist professionals undertaking safeguarding adults work.

For Adult Social Care staff: 
If you are a member of adult social care staff and want to report a concern. Please complete a Request for a decision form, then submit to the
To report a crime:
In an emergency, contact the police, phone: 999 
If the person is not in immediate danger, contact the police, phone: 101 

 Safeguarding Adults multi-agency policy and procedures 

Northumberland multi-agency Safeguarding Adults policy and procedures provide an overarching framework for Safeguarding Adults and sets out what actions staff and agencies should take to protect adults at risk of harm from abuse. 
Professionals should refer to the multi-agency safeguarding procedures and staff guidance to inform their actions when there is a concern about abuse or neglect. 
Click here to view the Northumberland Safeguarding Adults policy and procedures. 
Professionals may also consult the NSAB Safeguarding Adults Risk Threshold Tool to inform their decision making. 
Click here to view the NSAB Safeguarding Adults Risk Threshold Tool. 
A range of further practice guidance is also available to assist professionals, please see 'practice guidance' section below. 

Templates for Safeguarding Adults Strategy, Planning and Review meetings are available below:  
Safeguarding Adults Strategy meeting agenda 
Safeguarding Adults Planning meeting agenda 
Safeguarding Adults Review meeting agenda  
Statement of Confidentiality  
Local policies, procedures and working practice information for professionals: 
Child to Parent Violence and Abuse Pathway 
Exploitation Strategy - Northumberland - 2020-2023 
NSAB Safeguarding Adults Risk Threshold Tool 
North of Tyne Modern Day Slavery guidance 
North of Tyne Safeguarding Adults Review Policy and Procedures 
North of Tyne Self-Neglect guidance 
North of Tyne Organisational Abuse Enquiries guidance 
Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Briefing 
Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking Guidance 
Northumbria Police Partnership Intelligence form 
Northumbria Police Submitting Intelligence Briefing (27.03.19) 
Northumberland Exploitation Strategy 2020-2023 
Northumberland Modern Slavery, Trafficking and Exploitation Concept of Operations 
Northumberland Prevent Pathway 
Northumberland Prevent Referral form 
Northumberland Safeguarding Adults Falls Policy 
Northumberland Safeguarding Transitions Protocol 
Briefings and 7 minute briefings: 
CARE (Caring about Adversity, Resilience and Empowerment) 7 minute briefing 
Child to Parent Violence and Abuse 7 minute briefing 
Cuckooing briefing 
Discriminatory abuse/Hate/Mate crime 
Domestic Abuse Act 
Language briefing 
Newcastle JSCR 7 minute guide 
Making Safeguarding Personal 7 minute briefing 
Mental Capacity Act
Professional Curiosity 7 minute briefing 
Self-neglect briefing 
Transitional Safeguarding 
Trauma Informed Practice
Northumbria Missing Adults Protocol: 
Northumbria Missing Adults Protocol (February 2022) 
Northumbria Missing Adults Protocol Appendix 2 - Return Home Interview schedule 
Northumbria Missing Adults Protocol Appendix 3 - Herbert Protocol form 
Northumbria Missing Adults Protocol Appendix 4 - Winnie Protocol form 
Regional 7 x 7 Self-Neglect 7 minute briefings: 
Self-Neglect 7 minute briefing - Alcohol and Substance Misuse 
Self-Neglect 7 minute briefing - Engagement 
Self-Neglect 7 minute briefing - Hoarding 
Self-Neglect 7 minute briefing - Homelessness 
Self-Neglect 7 minute briefing - Overview 
Self-Neglect 7 minute briefing - Self-care 
Self-Neglect 7 minute briefing - Trauma 
National reports of interest 
Adult Safeguarding and Homelessness: A briefing on positive practice 
Adult Safeguarding and Homelessness: Experience-informed practice 
Alcohol Change UK (July 2019) - Learning from tragedies: an analysis of alcohol-related Safeguarding Adult Reviews published in 2017 
Alcohol Change UK (December 2020) - Safeguarding Vulnerable Dependent Drinkers 
Alcohol Change UK (September 2021) - How to use legal powers to safeguard highly vulnerable dependent drinkers 
Discriminatory Abuse: A briefing for practitioners 
LGA/ADASS Safeguarding Resources 
Pressure Ulcers and the Interface with a Safeguarding Enquiry (DHSC) 
Safeguarding adults in care homes NICE guidance 
Safeguarding people in closed environments 
Making decisions on the duty to carry out safeguarding enquiries 
Understanding what constitutes a safeguarding concern 
Scamwise: spotting, avoiding and reporting scams (Independent Age) 
SCIE: Safeguarding Adults - types and indicators of abuse 

To find out more information on how to help if you believe someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse, please see the Domestic Abuse website.  

MARAC - Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference 

A MARAC is a meeting where information is shared on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, health, child protection, housing practitioners, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) and other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors. 
A victim should be referred to the relevant MARAC if they are an adult (16+) who resides in the borough and are at high risk of domestic violence from their adult (16+) partner, ex-partner or family member, regardless of gender or sexuality.   
After sharing all relevant information, they have about a victim, the representatives construct a joint risk management plan that provides professional support to all those at risk and that reduces the risk of harm. 
The aim of the MARAC is to manage the risk to the adult victim but in doing this it will also consider other family members including any children involved and managing the behaviour of the perpetrator.  Information shared at the MARAC is confidential and is only used for the purpose of reducing the risk of harm to those at risk.  

At the heart of a MARAC is the working assumption that no single agency or individual can see the complete picture of the life of a victim, but all may have insights, knowledge and expertise that are crucial to their safety. 


To make a referral to MARAC, please contact your Agency's designated MARAC lead.  If you are not aware of who your MARAC lead is, please contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub via OneCall.  
If you require further information or advice contact: 
Lesley Pyle 
Northumberland & North Tyneside Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Coordinator 


The single point of contact for Adult Social Care MARAC referrals is: 
Tel: 01670 536400 


Useful links and information 

Alcohol Concern 
Alcoholics Anonymous 
Action Fraud 
Care Act 2014 fact sheets 
Care Quality Commission 
Citizens Advice Bureau 
Domestic Abuse 
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards at a glance - SCIE 
Dignity in Care 
Disclosure and Barring Service 
Equality and Human Rights Commission 
Forced Marriage Unit 
Friends against scams 
Gamcare (gambling) 
Hope for Justice 
Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner 
Karma Nirvana 
Mental Capacity Act 2005 
Modern Slavery helpline 
National Association for People Abused in Childhood 
National Domestic Abuse helpline 
National LGBT and Domestic abuse helpline 
National Referral Mechanism (NRM) 
National Working Group tackling CSE 
Northumberland Safeguarding Children 
Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board Procedures 
Rape Crisis 
Safer Northumberland Partnership 
Social Care Institute for Excellence 
SORTED Northumberland 
Stop Loan Sharks 
Suzy Lamplugh Trust 
Suicide Prevention Network 
Respect: Men's Advice line 
Telephone Preference Service 
Victim Support 
Womens Aid 

On behalf of the Northumberland Children and Adult Safeguarding Partnership (NCASP), a range of multi-agency safeguarding adult and associated training is available. 

If you work for Northumberland County Council and have a Learning Together account, please access safeguarding adults training via your personal log-in. 

If you work for the private, voluntary & independent sector you can access safeguarding adult training via our on-line learning platform - Learning Together.  If you already have an account, please use your log-in details.  If you do not have an account and wish to apply, please contact learning and organisational development who will be able to assist with your registration.  E-mail: 

Alternatively, you can also apply by contacting the social care training team who co-ordinate and manage the safeguarding adult training programme.  Please e-mail: 

For further information, advice and/or guidance about Safeguarding Adults and associated training please contact: 

Leigh Waller, social care training team manager 

Phone: 07580 309219 

Mental Capacity Act 

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 applies to everyone involved in the care, treatment and support of people aged 16 and over living in England and Wales who are unable to make all or some decisions for themselves. The MCA is designed to protect and restore power to those vulnerable people who lack capacity.  
The MCA provides the legal framework for making decisions on behalf of people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions themselves.  
For further information please see the Mental Capacity Fact sheet  

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)apply to vulnerable people in England and Wales, aged 18 or over, who have mental health needs (this includes dementia), who are in hospitals and care homes, and who do not have the mental ability to make decisions about their care or treatment.  
If they lack capacity, or are unable to make these decisions, then the law allows decisions to be made in their best interests. To meet the requirements for an assessment under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards the following criteria must be met:  
1. The person must lack capacity to consent to their care or treatment in the care home, hospital or other supported living arrangement.  
2. The person is not free to leave. That means the person is not free to live where they want or with who they want.  
3. The person is under continuous supervision and control. For example, do staff always need to be aware of where the person is, who they are with and make checks and take action if there is any doubt about this?  
If the above criteria are met, the local authority will undertake an assessment. This will be carried out by a best interests assessor and a specialist doctor, and will involve speaking to family or friends, or appointing an independent mental capacity advocate. The assessment will decide how long the authorisation will last (maximum 12 months), and when it will need to re-assessed. The person will be provided with a representative during the period of authorisation and has the right to challenge through the Court of Protection. 
If the above criteria are met and the person is being deprived of their liberty in any other living accommodation, then the local authority may need to apply to the Court of Protection to seek their authorisation. If so, then we would need to consult with the person, their carers, relatives and representatives.  
For further advice or information please contact: 
DoLS team 
Phone: 01670 629 700 
For further information relating to Mental Capacity and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding please see this section of the Safeguarding Adults procedures


Liberty Protection Safeguards 

The Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) will replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and will provide protection for people aged 16 and above who are or who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to enable their care or treatment and lack the mental capacity to consent to their arrangements. The timescale for implementation has not been confirmed. 
Click here to see Liberty Protection Safeguards - at a glance. 

Related guidance 

Supporting people living with dementia to be involved in adult safeguarding enquiries. 

Tricky Friends' is a short animation originally developed by Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board. The aim is to help people with learning disabilities, as well as children and young adults, understand what good friendships are, when they might be harmful, and what they can do. 
This can be used by carers, family, professionals and organisations, to raise awareness and help keep them safer while enjoying relationships.
During Safeguarding week, the Safeguarding partnership launched a new leaflet and a series of posters, aimed at the public and staff, to raise awareness of Safeguarding Adults, and when/how to report concerns. We would ask all agencies to promote the use of these resources. 
Please see links below to the digital resources. We also have a stock of these resources available for collection. Please contact the NCASP administrator to arrange this. 
Safeguarding Adults leaflet 
We also have a range of awareness raising posters 
Safeguarding Adults poster – Alison 
Safeguarding Adults poster – Tommy 
Safeguarding Adults poster – Margaret 
Safeguarding Adults poster – Alan 
Safeguarding Adults poster – Louise 
Safeguarding Adults poster - Peter 
Predatory Marriage - A Hidden Crime 
Locally and regionally, Covid-19 and the associated restrictions have been seen to impact upon the increasing number and complexity of safeguarding concerns involving self-neglect. Increases in the volume of safeguarding concerns, has also been accompanied by a high number of referrals relating to self-neglect considered by Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) subgroups across the region. 
In response, members of the north east ADASS Safeguarding Adults Leads network have developed a series of seven 7-minute briefings aimed at professionals outlining all aspects of self-neglect, which will form part of toolkit to support and enhance local self-neglect guidance. These 7-minute guides have been launched and promoted across the SAB during this year. To support a regional campaign to raise awareness of self-neglect amongst the general public, a self-neglect animation has now been produced and launched during National Safeguarding Adults week. 
The 7 Regional 7 x 7 Self-Neglect 7 minute briefings can be found below: 
Alcohol and Substance Misuse 
Operational guidance for front line staff on key processes and functions.

This page contains operational guidance for front line staff.  

Key guidance documents 

Current versions of key guidance documents for our front-line staff are below.  These are documents which may also be useful to professionals in partner agencies and others. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and other procedural documents likely only to be of interest to adult social care staff working within the council are available to staff connected to the council network in SharePoint.  

  • Needs Assessment Handbook - guidance for social workers and care managers about assessing needs and planning care and support. This includes links to legislation and statutory guidance, an explanation of how we expect staff to carry out needs assessment and care and support planning, and detailed advice about how best to use our current assessment forms. Some sections are now slightly out of date, and we are intending to produce an updated version shortly.  
  • Options Guidance Handbook - guidance for staff working with people who ask for help with specific care and support needs, but who does not currently wish to have a comprehensive needs assessment. Anyone in this situation who has continuing care and support needs should be sent a letter confirming that they are entitled to a full needs assessment if they subsequently decide that they would now like to have one.  Some terminology in this guidance is out of date, but the basic guidance which it offers is still current.  
  • NHS funding after hospital discharge - guidance about when the NHS will fund care services for people who are awaiting an assessment of their eligibility for NHS Continuing Health Care funding, after screening in for assessment while in hospital. There is also a flowchart showing the process graphically.  Both documents reflect the position from 1 April 2022, when temporary special arrangements introduced during the Covid pandemic came to an end.  

  Guidance sheets 

The Joint Equipment Loans Service (JELS) service provides equipment to people who live in Northumberland, or who are registered with a Northumberland GP, to help them maintain their independence in the community and continue to live safely in their own home.   

Referrals come from health and social care professionals following an assessment by a professional requisitioner e.g. district nurse, community nurse, care manager, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, paediatrician.

Electronic Requisitioning  

We have replaced our operating system with a new Equipment Loans Management System (ELMS2).  

To access the system, you will need to be registered, please send an email to confirming your name – designation – base – phone number and email address.  

Once you are registered you can access the ELMS2 system by clicking here  

If you have any questions or queries, please refer to the attached user guide in the first instance or liaise with your team champion/colleagues for the solution.  ELMS user guide  

If you continue to have a query do not hesitate to contact JELS using the email address and a member of the team will get back to you.


Contact Details  

Joint Equipment Loans Service  
Northumberland County Council   
43 Colbourne Crescent  
Nelson Park Industrial Estate  
NE23 1WB  
Phone Number: 01670 730595  

Elms2 Online Access Module

The council has developed a process for deregistering residential care homes and moving to independent supported living where all or most of the residents remain on site.

Moving to supported living 

The sense of security and independence that comes with taking on your own tenancy can help people feel more stable and confident about the future. It can also allow people more freedom of choice about their living environment and make better use of their income. 
A number of current registered residential services might now consider the potential benefits of independent supported living and will benefit from further information to inform any decision to change their status. 
The protocol document below supports a person-centred approach and the eight step individual pathway. This also includes good practice guides and resources to assist you through the process. 
If you are considering this option, please contact us before you progress by emailing us at: 


Information about becoming a Shared Lives carer.

A Shared Lives carer must be willing to include the people who comes to live or stay with them in their home life, their local community and their network of family and friends.  
Shared Lives carers come from all walks of life, they don’t need any formal caring experience, but experience or knowledge of caring or sharing their home would be an advantage.   
A Shared Lives carer also needs to have a spare room suitable for someone to live or stay in and the agreement and support of all the members of their household.  
To become a Shared Lives carer, you need to go through an assessment and approval process. This involves home visits to the applicant, discussions with all members of the household, rigorous checks and references and attendance at pre-approval training sessions.   
The process can take about three to six months.  
Shared Lives carers are paid a weekly fee to cover the rent, household costs and care and support that they offer to people who stay with them. This is covered by a special tax arrangement with HMRC and many Shared Lives carers pay no income tax on their earnings.  
Shared Lives carers will need to arrange appropriate insurance cover through the specialist insurance scheme for Shared Lives carers. Training required will be arranged by Shared Lives Northumberland at no cost to the carers.  
Our Shared Lives workers offer advice and information to guide you through every step of the process.   

Shared Lives Carers Fees  

Being a Shared Lives carer is a paid role. The fees we pay to a Shared Lives carer will depend on what sort of service you offer, how many people you support and what sort of support needs each person has.  
You will be paid a weekly fee of £447.65 for each adult you support. This covers all expenses and includes an allowance for the carer. The fee is made up of a contribution made by the person you look after, and the rest, when applicable is paid by Northumberland County Council.  
A Shared Lives carer must be registered as self-employed for tax purposes and the carer’s fee must be declared. HM Revenue & Customs treats the income from Shared Lives in a similar way to that of foster carers and have agreed a beneficial tax arrangement for Shared Lives carers. You can download the HMRC tax guidance for Shared Lives carers (still called adult placement carers) here.  
Your Shared Lives worker will guide you through the tax procedures and insurance arrangements you need to make to be a Shared Lives carer.  

Support for carers  

Our Shared Lives carers offer an essential service to adults in Northumberland who need support so it is important to us that you feel valued and supported when you take on this role.  

Shared Lives workers  

You won’t be on your own. Each Shared Lives carer is supported by a Shared Lives worker to give you the support you need to be a carer.  
Our Shared Lives workers are skilled and experienced social care workers. They will support you with each arrangement and make sure you are happy with how things are going and offer advice and support. They will also make sure that your carer’s fees are paid, make arrangements for you to have a break from caring and carry out regular home visits.
You won’t be on your own. Each Shared Lives carer is supported by a Shared Lives worker to give you the support you need to be a carer.  
Our Shared Lives workers are skilled and experienced social care workers. They will support you with each arrangement and make sure you are happy with how things are going and offer advice and support. They will also make sure that your carer’s fees are paid, make arrangements for you to have a break from caring and carry out regular home visits. 
The person you look after will have their own social worker/care manager who arranges their care at home and will carry out home visits. They can also give you practical advice and support.  
During office hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) you can contact the Shared Lives team, social worker/care manager who is responsible for the person you look after by calling the adult social care team on 01670 536 400.   
Outside of these hours and in the event of an emergency you can contact our emergency duty team via Onecall on 01670 536400 for advice and support.  
We will provide you with training to help you prepare for your role as a Shared Lives carer and there is an annual training plan for every Shared Lives carer.   
At your yearly carer’s review which is carried out by the Shared Lives manager additional training needs and opportunities will be discussed and arranged as required.
We hold regular meetings and support groups for Shared Lives carers. These provide the opportunity to socialise, meet with other carers and share experiences. 
Being a Shared Lives carer can be tiring and sometimes can be intensive and stressful. Our Shared Lives workers will help you to access support to take breaks from your caring role.  
Phone: 01670 536 400  
Write to:  
Shared Lives Northumberland  
County Hall  
Floor 1 Block 3  
NE61 2EF