How can the local authority assure itself that the supported self-assessment is accurate and complete - Supported self-assessment

The supported self-assessment process is only complete when the local authority has assured itself that it is an accurate and complete reflection of the individual’s needs and outcomes, and the impact of needs on their wellbeing.

The guidance stresses that local authorities should not repeat the full assessment process. However, where the supported self-assessment is not comprehensive and/or accurate, it may be necessary to repeat part or all of the assessment.

In a nutshell, there must be sufficient and reliable information available to determine eligibility. Specifically, practitioners need to consider the following:

Comprehensive

  • Are there any gaps?
  • Have all needs, not only presenting needs, been captured? Has the individual clearly defined their desired outcomes?
  • Do you need to include anyone else's views or input? With relevant consent, have all views of members of individual social network been considered?
  • Have other professionals dealing with the individual provided their views?

Accurate

  • Is the information consistent?
  • If mobility is poor, is this reflected appropriately in other needs?
  • If individual has a health condition, is this reflected in all the needs?
  • If an individual has no social network support, and no ability to undertake certain tasks, is this clearly captured?
  • Do you need to check the information with someone else?
  • If there is no certainty/clarity on mobility, or impact of health, is it worth checking with physio or District Nurse/GP?
  • Is any evidence needed to confirm information?
  • Consider asking the individual to demonstrate their mobility, or ability to prepare food, etc.

Where specialist support is required to carry out the supported self-assessment for a person who is deafblind, the professional leading the assurance process is then regarded as the ‘assessor’ and their expertise must relate to the individual’s needs.

Unlike what is often thought, many people tend to understate their needs. People who have lived with a certain level of needs for some time are used to it being their ‘norm’ and may lose perspective in terms of what their needs really are when seen more objectively.

For example, a housebound woman living alone may say that she has no mobility needs, as she has never had a fall and she can get to all corners of her flat. However, when asked to stand up from the sofa and go to the kitchen, it takes her 15 minutes to stand up and another 10 minutes to walk three metres. When viewed objectively this is unlikely to be considered good mobility.