Your local authority’s social services team has a duty to provide welfare services such as residential accommodation for people who need care because of age, illness or disability, if they are unable to get that care elsewhere. The local authority’s responsibility is defined by the Care Act 2014. This sets out their duties for assessing people’s needs and eligibility for publicly funded care and support.

Care needs assessments

Your local authority is responsible for assessing you to determine what kind of care you need, for example whether you could be cared for at home, with any necessary adjustments made to your home, or if you would be better off in a nursing home. You can find more information about care needs assessments from the Government website or from the NHS.

Your care needs must be assessed, whether or not you are likely to be eligible for publicly funded care. Independently of any local authority assessment, we also carry out our own pre-admission assessment to ensure that we can meet a prospective resident’s needs fully and safely.

Publicly funded care

Your local authority uses several criteria to assess your eligibility for publicly funded care, and these three main conditions include:

  1. Whether your need for care and support arises from, or is related to, a physical or mental impairment or illness and is not caused by other circumstantial factors.
  2. Whether, as a result of your needs, you cannot achieve two or more of the specific outcomes, with or without help (for example, preparing a meal), or doing so causes suffering or puts you in danger.
  3. Whether, as a result of being unable to achieve these outcomes, there is, or is likely to be, a significant impact on your wellbeing. Check the Social Care Institute for Excellence’s website for some useful information about getting a local authority assessment.


The local authority is the main safeguarding agency and is usually the first point of contact if you have any concerns. Under the Care Act 2014 local authorities have a role to play in safeguarding – protecting your right to live in safety, free from abuse (including financial) and neglect.

CQC may get involved if it is contacted directly by a resident or family member. If this is the case, it will forward the concern to the safeguarding team to handle. CQC’s main role within safeguarding is to hold providers to account and secure improvements via enforcement action.

Although the issue of safeguarding is usually more closely linked with care homes, their staff and other care professionals, it is also the responsibility of other people and organisations that care for older people. For example, the Care Act 2014 requires staff in banks to be aware of the prevalence of financial abuse of vulnerable older people, such as scams or pressure relating to their money. Click here and here’ with ‘The Local Government Association has some useful information about safeguarding as does Mind.