Long-term support

Information about long-term support and services. 

Care and support is the help you may need to cope with day-to-day life because of a disability or disabling long-term health condition. This is not health treatment but support to live as independently as possible.

Many people with care and support needs get the help they need from family and friends, or from their local community You can search for support in your area here.  

Many people also pay privately to get the help they need, for example with household jobs they may find difficult such as cooking, cleaning, washing or to help with personal care tasks, such as eating and bathing.  

You can find and compare care homes by entering a postcode on the CQC website here and search within a specified distance of any address in England.  

You can find and compare registered home care providers by selecting the service you require and entering your postcode on this page here.  

Anyone who needs care and support has a right to advice or a needs assessment.  This includes people who need care and support because of physical or mental health problems or any kind of disability or long-term condition.  Family members or friends providing care also have similar rights, explained in Information Sheet C4.  

A needs assessment is a detailed discussion with a trained member of staff, which will produce a written statement of what your needs are, and what you can do to reduce them, or prevent them from getting worse.   

If your care and support needs are having a significant impact on your wellbeing, a needs assessment may tell you that you are entitled to assistance from the council. 

You don’t have to have a needs assessment to get advice about what support may be available, you may prefer to start by asking for advice. You will then be able to make an informed decision about whether a full needs assessment would be worth your while at present. 

A needs assessment is essential if you want the council to pay for long-term care and support services, but if you only need advice, immediate practical help, or equipment or adaptations to your home, you don't have to have a full needs assessment. 

You can find out more about paying for care here.

If we assess that you need care and support at home from paid care workers, there are several different ways we can help you to arrange this: 

  • You can employ your own care workers using a direct payment.
  • You can ask us to arrange a service from a home care agency. 
  • You can make your own arrangement with a home care agency using a direct payment. 
  • If you can afford it, you can make your own arrangements privately, either with a home care agency or with care workers who you employ. 

There is also support available for carers - family or friends who help to meet a person’s care and support needs. More information on this can be found in Information sheet C4. 

How do I ask for advice or a needs assessment? 

You don’t have to decide in advance whether you want advice or a needs assessment – you can ask for a discussion about that when you contact us. 

You can find out more about your options in our information sheets below: 

Care and Support planning. 
Your entitlement care and support.  
Paying for care and support.  

The council provides eight day centres and two supported living services for adults with learning disabilities.

Council day services for adults 

Our day centres help more than 170 adults with learning disabilities to acquire new skills.

These include learning to grow plants, make jewellery, ceramics, cakes and reclaim/sell old furniture, with any money made reinvested in this service. 
We provide vulnerable adults with a great opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and develop confidence and self-esteem while preparing them for future employment or voluntary work. Wherever possible, activities are delivered in the local community, making it easier for people to attend on a regular basis.
These are services we can arrange following an assessment of a person's needs - there are also many day services operated by other organisations which we can arrange, which can often also offer places under a private arrangement. 

Please click here for more information about our day services for people with a learning disability.  

Supported living services for adults with learning disabilities

The council provides two supported living services for adults with learning disabilities. You can find more information and read the latest Care Quality Commission inspection reports here.

The learning disability partnership board (LDPB) aims to show the values of inclusiveness, respect, dignity and equal partnership in working together locally with people with learning disabilities, and their families, to support better lives for them. 
It meets quarterly and is co-chaired by representatives from the local area forums. Guests or representatives from other organisations are invited to report or help with specific work as required. 
There are different ways of becoming a member. It may be: 

  • Because of the job you have. 
  • You have skills or useful experience. 
  • You represent an organisation. 
  • You are elected by a forum. 
  • You are asked to join by the board. 

The board considers government proposals and national guidance alongside local priorities, with the aim of making better lives for people with learning disabilities and their families in Northumberland. 


About the learning disability partnership board 

The values and principles of the board state that people with learning disabilities: 

  • Have the same rights as everyone else, which will be promoted and protected. 
  • Will have the greatest possible choice and control over decisions that affect their lives. 
  • Will be fully included in the lives of their communities. 
  • Will be supported to have as much independence as possible.  

Members of the board have influenced a range of developments including a charter and standards linked to our quality assurance monitoring, the Hospital Passport and development of the Jack & Josephine programme to support better health and wellbeing. 

  The LDPB reports annually on local progress. Representatives link to regional partnerships with stakeholders, such as Northeast and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board, Carers Northumberland, ADAPT and other interested networking groups 

Learning disability partnership board meetings 

Learning Disability Board meetings take place quarterly, with one meeting acting as the annual general meeting. User forum groups and other user led networks feed into the board meeting from across the county. Dates of meetings can change, but if you require more information on either the board or user forum meetings, please contact the board by email northumberlandechoforum@gmail.com.  
The learning disability partnership board is chaired by Sean Brennan, senior manager for learning disability provider services in Northumberland County Council. 
For more information, contact Sean Brennan by email at sean.brennan@northumberland.gov.uk or phone 0778 617 3140. 

Dementia is the term for a collection of symptoms that can be caused by various diseases which cause difficulties in thinking, problem solving, communicating and memory which affect people’s daily lives.

Dementia affects each person in different ways, but some of the more common problems often affect the way someone interacts with other people or their actions. 

How many people are affected in Northumberland? 

Around 35,000 people living in the north east have dementia and this is expected to rise. 
In Northumberland around 2,500 people have been diagnosed with dementia, along with many others not yet diagnosed but experiencing memory loss or other symptoms who live in the community. 

Who is at risk? 

The risk of developing dementia increases with age. It more often occurs in people over 65 but can affect younger people in their early to mid-50s or 60s. There are no obvious physical signs that show someone has dementia or memory problems. If you or someone you know is worried about their memory, encourage them to contact their GP for advice. 


Dementia is progressive so the effects get worse over time. However, many people with dementia lead active and fulfilling lives for many years. It can’t be cured yet but can be slowed down and people helped to live with it. To do this, they need the communities in which they live to be aware of dementia, inclusive of people living with dementia, and that businesses and services support customers with dementia. 
In Northumberland we want to promote dementia awareness and develop partnerships to support people to get an early diagnosis and be able to continue to live safe and fulfilling lives in familiar surroundings. 
By working together with partners, we can all help to make our towns and villages more understanding and supportive of people experiencing some of the difficulties associated with having dementia.  

Living with dementia in the home 

People with dementia tell us they want to be able to feel safe and able to continue to live in their own homes, which are familiar to them for as long as possible. To help with this, all new housing developments in Northumberland consider how to best support people with dementia. The University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre has produced guidance for professionals including Designing Interiors for People with Dementia. By using this guidance new homes are now more suitable for people currently living with dementia and for those who develop the condition in the future. 

Support groups

You can find information about a range of support groups by clicking on this link.

If you or someone you care for is suffering from memory loss, there is help available in Northumberland.

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Society, Carers Northumberland and Age UK Northumberland have co-produced these two short films to help people find the right support if they are concerned or are experiencing changes in their memory or thinking.
What to do if you have concerns about memory difficulties
This short film helps to explain what you can expect to happen, if you notice a change in your memory or thinking.
Dementia Support Services
This short film explains some of the services in Northumberland that might be able to help.

Useful contacts:

  • Older Adult Community Treatment Team - 01670 395 760
  • Alzheimer’s Society Northumberland - 01670 813 255
  • Carers Northumberland - 01670 320 025
  • Age UK Northumberland - 01670 784 800
  • Crisis Team - 0800 652 2861


Ageing Well in Northumberland

Part of the Ageing Well in Northumberland programme is about bringing together local partners to help them understand and respond to the needs of all older people including people with dementia. This is done locally through training, information, activities and support to help people stay active and connected to others. 
For further information on living with or caring for someone with dementia, practical advice and guidance to help shape how services are designed and delivered, click on one of the following Links: 

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

 People who live in Northumberland and need this level of care can get financial support from the county council, if they are not able to afford the fees themselves. 

A complete list of registered care homes in 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. 

We want people to maintain their independence and stay in their own homes as long as possible. However, for people whose disability or illness is so serious they cannot stay in their own homes, moving into a care home may be an option.  

Care homes provide care, accommodation and board for people needing high levels of support. They are required by law to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 
People living in Northumberland who need this level of care can get financial support from the county council if they are not able to afford the fees themselves. Some people with particularly complex needs may be eligible for NHS funding for a place in a care home, regardless of their financial circumstances (but some care homes may charge higher fees than the NHS will pay). 
Contact us if you think you may need to move into a care home and would like advice or financial help
If you live in the county and qualify for financial support from the council or the NHS, we are responsible for arranging this even if you prefer to move to a care home somewhere else. 
Whether or not you need financial support, we recommend looking at a number of options.  You can find out what is available using the links below: 

If you, or someone you know, struggles with everyday tasks, there could be equipment that can help. 


Equipment can protect people from accidents, assist them with the everyday tasks of life and/or make it easier to provide care for them. It can also help people to move back home from hospital. 

The range of equipment available to make life easier for people who have difficulty with daily tasks is increasing all the time.  A growing range of items are available from high street shops; others can be found in specialist shops, catalogues, or on the internet.  

Health and care professionals can give you advice about equipment, which might help you.   

You can also get impartial advice about what equipment you might find useful from: Disability North East,  

The Dene Centre,  
Castle Farm Road,  
NE3 1PH  

Phone (0191) 284 0480 for an appointment 
Text Direct 18001 0191 284 0480  

Email reception@disabilitynorth.org.uk  
Web address  www.disabilitynorth.com  

Equipment you can buy

Listings of private companies offering equipment and advice can also be found in telephone directories, such as Thompson’s or the Yellow Pages, and through using internet search engines.   

Some examples are:  

Argos – Mobility aids, bathing equipment, toileting equipment, tables and trolleys
Boots – Mobility and daily living aids  
Lloyds Pharmacy – Mobility and daily living aids  
Amazon can deliver a wide range of equipment – try the search term "disability aids" on their website  
OT stores – 0845 260 7061 or info@otstores.co.uk  
Essential Aids  - 01273 719889 or contact@essentialaids.com  
Healthcare Pro – 0345 121 8111  
Ability Superstore - 0800 2550498 or 0161  8500884  

The list of suppliers above is an example of where equipment can be purchased and does not mean that we recommend or have approved their products or services. 

Help from the council

If you have social care or health needs you can borrow, free of charge, equipment through the Joint Equipment Loans Service (JELS).  

The types of equipment JELS provide includes: 

  • Beds and chairs 
  • Bathing and showering equipment 
  • Toileting aids 
  • Hoisting and moving and handling equipment 
  • Walking aids and basic wheelchairs 
  • Pressure relief equipment 
  • Equipment specifically designed for children 
  • Equipment for visual and hearing impairments 
A variety of health and social care professionals, including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, care managers, district nurses and health visitors, can assess your needs and if equipment will improve your situation or that of someone you care for, they can arrange equipment from JELS. 
If you are not already in contact with a professional who can advise you, please contact Onecall to request an assessment.   
If you already have equipment loaned through JELS and need to contact them directly, you can do this by ringing 01670 730595, or you can use one of the alternative contact methods listed on the page for Onecall  our single point of access for all adult social care services. 

Who is eligible to borrow equipment? 

The service provides equipment for anyone that needs it, but this decision is made by health or social care professionals including care managers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, district nurses and health visitors. 

How long does it take to get equipment? 

JELS are open Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4pm, JELS aim to deliver standard stock items of equipment within ten working days on receipt of a routine request; five working days for urgent requests and 48 hours for emergency requests. 
However, if your assessed need is for an item of equipment that is not held as standard stock and must be ordered in it may take considerably longer than equipment delivery timeframes. 

How is equipment delivered?  

The delivery vans regularly go to all areas in Northumberland and will deliver your equipment at the first suitable opportunity.  When JELS are delivering the equipment requested for you, you will be phoned the day before the planned delivery day to make sure that you will be in. 

Using the equipment 

In most case the person who requested the equipment for you will need to visit you after it has been delivered, to set it up and show you, or your carers, how to use it safely. 

Returning the equipment 

If the equipment you have loaned through JELS is no longer needed, you can arrange for it to be collected by calling 01670 730595 or you can return it direct to JELS between 8am and 3.30pm Monday to Thursday and between 8am and 3pm on Fridays, at:

Joint Equipment Loans Service 
Northumberland County Council 
43 Colbourne Crescent 
Nelson Park Industrial Estate 
NE23 1WB 


If your assessed need is a wheelchair JELS can provide basic models of wheelchairs for short term needs.   
However, if your need is a wheelchair for long term use, more specialist wheelchair specification, postural support to the wheelchair or powered wheelchair these are all provided by through Northumbria Healthcare Trust's wheelchair service who can be contacted on 0191 282 8958. 
Wheelchair services accept referrals from healthcare professionals only, you can ask your GP or consultant to refer you to them. 

Telecare community alarms service and equipment 

Our telecare service can provide you with some additional security for your wellbeing at home. The service is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. 
You can find out more in the Telecare section below.

This page lists our plans for supporting disabled adults and those with a long-term illness, and the changes we would like to see in the local market for provision of social care services.

Market Position Statements (and the relationships which support them) help influence the choice and quality of services on offer – and ensure that their supply has the capacity to meet demand and respond sustainably to anticipated changes.  
They also help deliver the local authority duty to shape the market in adult care and support introduced by the Care Act 2014. 

This is the council's Market Position Statement for 2022 which provides information on the current care market in Northumberland along with current demand and predicted future demand. 
Market Position Statement 2022 
This is council's Adult Services Commissioning Plans for 2023 - 2024.

Commissioning Plans 2023 - 2024
A partnership approach, led by social care, working with health and housing commissioners has been adopted to develop and implement this strategy.

Please click here to read our Extra Care and Supported Living Strategy.


Grants to support the development of extra care and supported living in Northumberland.

Please click here to read about grants to support the development of extra care and supported living in Northumberland.