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Who is eligible and what does it cost?

This section tells you how to get assessed and about the cost of care.

To see if you are eligible for care, St Helens Council uses an assessment that is used nationally to make sure it is fair. The result of the assessment will show what your care needs are. Social care is not free like many health services and most people have to pay something towards the cost of their care arrangements.

You can refer yourself or be referred by a health or social care professional in any of the following ways:

  • Call 01744 676767 (lines are open between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday).
  • Visit the Council Contact Centre Reception, Wesley House, Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1HF. Reception is open between 9:00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Email contactcentre@sthelens.gov.uk.

We believe in supporting people to remain independent, active members of their community wherever possible.  We can arrange services to help you with daily living tasks and remain independent.

Adult Social Care want to help as many people as possible, but we have to make sure that our services go to those who need them most.  Whether you qualify for a particular service will depend on whether you are eligible for services. To see if you might have eligible needs you can use our online needs assessment tool.

When you contact Adult Social Care, or someone makes a referral on your behalf, this could be your doctor for example, Adult Social Care staff will carry out a formal assessment of your needs.  The information you give is confidential and we will only share it with those people who need to know about your situation in order to help you.  Wherever possible, we will ask your permission before sharing any information.

If you wish to make a referral, or have a general enquiry, you can speak to someone in confidence by either telephoning or visiting us:

Contact Details
Telephone: 01744 676767 (lines are open between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday)
Call in and speak to us: Contact Centre Reception, Wesley House, Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1HF.
Reception is open between 9:00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday
Email: contactcentre@sthelens.gov.uk

To access services a referral is taken by a Contact Centre Advisor and sent to the appropriate team.  Your referral will be allocated to a member of Adult Social Care staff who will assess your needs and determine whether you are eligible for services.

A trained member of staff will talk with you about what you are able to do, and look at ways to help you overcome any difficulties.  You may also want to involve someone who looks after you (your carer) or someone to speak for you.

You will receive your own copy of your assessment kept in a folder called a Person Held Record.  We can also give a copy to your carer, if you give your permission.

If your carer has asked for a separate assessment of their needs, we will give them a copy of this.

We will translate your assessment into your preferred language or format.

If you are not eligible to receive services from St Helens Council we can still offer information and advice.

The assessment is voluntary and you can stop it at any stage.  If you do not agree with the decisions made at the assessment, you can ask for your needs to be reconsidered.

You also have the right to complain if you are dissatisfied with an assessment decision or the way in which the assessment has been done. 

Out of Hours Social Services Support

We know that not all unexpected major problems happen during normal office hours or can wait until the next day.  Adult Social Care provides an Emergency Duty Social Work Service that is there to help with those emergencies.

What sort of problems can the Emergency Duty Social Work Team deal with?

If your problem is regarding someone who is vulnerable or at immediate risk, please contact the Emergency Duty Social Work Team.  Here are a few examples of the sort of problems we can deal with:

  • Difficulties with children and young people
  • Safeguarding issues for children and adults
  • Older people who are at risk or who need immediate help
  • Concerns about a person with a physical or a sensory disability
  • Support in coping with someone who has severe learning difficulties or mental health problems
  • Mental Health Act assessments
  • Act as an Appropriate Adult for juveniles and vulnerable adults
  • Homelessness
  • Liaise with and offer support to other agencies
Out of Hours Team Contact Details
Telephone: 0345 0500 148
Email: EDT@halton.gov.uk

The service operates outside normal working hours at the following times:

Monday to Thursday 5:00pm to 9:00am
Friday 4:30pm to 9:00am
Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays  9:00am to 9:00am (24 hours)

An EDT Call Handler will answer the phone and take details of the problem and your contact details.  They will then pass this information over to an experienced and qualified Emergency Duty Social Worker.

At the earliest opportunity the Emergency Duty Social Worker will contact you and give you advice and guidance over the phone on how to deal with the problem, alternatively they may:

  • Recommend that you contact another, more appropriate, agency.  They will give you the contact details
  • Refer the matter on to another social care team the next working day
  • Visit you or the person with the problem

Direct Payments

St Helens Adult Social Care can offer a Direct Payment to people who are eligible for care and support, instead of the Council arranging community care for you.  This allows you to purchase your own support including home care, day care and respite.

Using a Direct Payment will give you choice and control - you can employ your own carers (often called PAs or Personal Assistants), or the care agency of your choice.  This means you are in control of how, and when, you get the help and support you need.

How do I get a Direct Payment?

If you want to have a Direct Payment instead of your current community care service, please speak with your Care Manager.

For more information about Direct Payments, please read the guidance in 'Related Documents' below.

Independent Financial Advice

The Care Act 2014 enacts some significant changes to the role of Local Authorities in providing advice and information for local people when arranging adult social care. Local Authorities are required to provide comprehensive information and advice about care and support services in their local area. This will help people to understand how care and support services work locally, the care and funding options available, and how people can access care and support services.

The Act clearly sets out the general requirements for what information and advice must be provided to local people and how they can find independent financial advice about care and support and help them to access it.

The Care Act guidance states that Local Authorities are not required to make a direct referral to a single Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) but should instead direct a person to a choice of advisors, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with the appropriate qualifications and accreditation

For information on Independent Financial Advisors in the local area, please visit: http://societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk/find-an-adviser/.

St Helens Council has produced this Independent Financial Advice Resource Directory to support people to access independent financial advice.