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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch Hampshire

What is Adult Social Care?

Understanding how social care works can be confusing, so if you or a family member need care and support, it's important to know about the types available, where to find up to date information, and understand how services are paid for.


Are you struggling with day-to-day tasks? Do you or a family member need support to look after themselves?

What is Adult Social Care?

Adult social care is personalised practical support for people over 18 that aims to assist people to live their lives independently and with dignity. This means the services people use vary, it could be that they need a piece of equipment, changes to their home, practical help with daily tasks, help getting out in the community or if people can no longer live at home, it could mean moving to a residential care home.

Who might need Social Care?

Older people, those with a disability, long-term illness, mental health problem or recovering from injury may need help to do everyday tasks like:

  • Eating, drinking and preparing meals

  • Personal care like washing and dressing

  • Being safe at home and being able to maintain their home

  • Developing and maintaining family and other personal relationships

  • Being able to work and participate in training, education, or volunteering

  • Making use of services in the local community (including public transport and recreation)

  • Caring for children.


What to do if you need Social Care

If you or a family member need social care, whether that's home adaptations or a care home, a Care Needs Assessment is the first step.

To get a Care Needs Assessment you need to contact the Adults’ Health and Care Team at Hampshire County Council. The assessment is free, and all adults are entitled to one, regardless of how much money they have or what their needs are. This assessment will determine whether they could qualify for help or support.

If your care and support needs are not eligible for help from the Council, they should give you information about how to access services and support for yourself. 

Contact: Adult Health and Care Team Hampshire County Council Website: Adult social care | Health and social care | Hampshire County Council (hants.gov.uk) Telephone number: 0300 555 1386. Please be aware this can take a while to be answered at busy times.

  • Monday 8.30am to 5pm

  • Tuesday to Thursday 9.30am to 5pm

  • Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm

  • Out of hours number- 0300 555 1373

Email: Online contact forms can be found here.

To view a video explaining what Adult Health and Care do, click here. To view the Hampshire Health and Social Care webpage and find out more, click here.

Do I have to pay for social care services?

You may have to pay for social care services. As well as a Care Needs Assessment your local council will also do a Financial Assessment (or ‘means test’) that will determine whether you qualify for free social care or whether you need to contribute towards/pay for the cost of care.

Useful information on Care Assessments and how to prepare for an assessment can be found here.


Sources of information and advice

  • We have a Carers Zone on our website. Find it here.

  • Citizens Advice can offer information and advice around social care. Find out more here.

  • Independent Age have an online interactive step by step guide to getting a Care Needs Assessment. View it here.

  • Age UK have information on Care Assessments, Paying for Care, Social Care Funding, advice if you considering moving to residential care, support and advice for carers and more. Find out more here.

  • Mind have information on Healthcare rights, Continuing healthcare (CHC), Needs assessments, Eligibility for social care, Care and support planning. Meeting your needs (personal budgets & direct payments) and Financial assessments. Find out more here.

  • NHS have a Social Care and Support guide, view it here.

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