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Adult Social Care Support

Adults of all ages can need extra support in day to day life for various and often complex reasons.

Adult social care is the support provided to adults with physical or learning disabilities, or physical or mental illnesses, and older people who require extra support. This could be for personal care (such as eating, washing, or getting dressed) or for domestic routines (such as cleaning or going to the shops).

This support is provided in various ways. It can be provided through formal care services, including residential care homes or a carer helping in the home. These services have to be paid for, usually by the local council or through private funds. Family members, neighbours, or friends may also provide unpaid care, which is often referred to as informal care. 

In this section, you can find out how to access Adult Social Care support provided through Merton Council.

Merton Information, Advice and Support

The Merton Adult Social Care service aims to intervene when they have to, but not in a way which makes people dependent on its services. We seek to find other practical solutions, in partnership with the Voluntary Sector, to promote people’s independence. Therefore, before contacting the Council, you are advised to contact the following organisations, as appropriate:

Merton Community Hub - 0208 066 4086, email or complete a form on the website. Help to connect you to the support you need in your community. Help for isolated households. Support with shopping and basic supplies, access to prescription and medication, telephone befriending, advice and practical help to stay active, support to stay independent at home

Age UK Tel No: 0208 648 5792, 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday for general information and advice, social activities, befriending, incontinence and stroke issues, handyperson services

Wimbledon Guild Tel No: 0208 946 0735, 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday for general information and advice, social activities, outreach services

MertonVision Tel No: 0208 540 5446, 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday for general information and advice, wide variety of bespoke services and advice for people with sight difficulties

Carers Support Merton Tel No: 020 8646 7515, 10am – 4 pm Monday to Friday for general information and advice, expertise and specific support for carers

Merton Mencap Tel No: 020 3458 5121 9.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday for general information and advice, expertise and specific support for Adults with Learning Disabilities.

Dementia Hub Tel No: 0208 687 0922, 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday for general advice, information and support and a wide range of services for people with dementia and their carers.

Merton Centre For Independent Living (CIL) Tel no: 0203 397 3119, Monday to Friday, is run and controlled by disabled people, for disabled people.


Who can receive support from the Adult Social Care Service?

To be eligible for support from the council you must first meet the national eligibility threshold. This is used by all local authorities in the country. The national eligibility criteria is based on:

  • Whether you need support due to a physical or mental impairment or illness
  • The extent that your needs affect your ability to achieve two or more specified activities
  • Whether, or the extent that, this affects your wellbeing

In considering whether an adult with care and support needs has eligible needs, there are three conditions that must be met.

1) The adult’s needs arise from or are related to a physical or mental impairment or illness.

2) As a result of the adult’s needs the adult is unable to achieve two or more of these outcomes:

  • managing and maintaining nutrition –This may include whether you have access to food or drink to maintain your nutrition, and whether you are able to prepare or consume your food and drink.
  • maintaining personal hygiene –This may include whether you are able to wash yourself and if you can wash your own clothes.
  • managing toilet needs – This includes whether you are able to access and use a toilet and manage your own toilet needs.
  • being appropriately clothed and dressed- This may include being able to get yourself properly dressed and whether you are dressed suitably(that is, keeping warm during the winter).
  • being able to make use of the home safely – This may include being able to move around your home without the risk of injury, such as using the kitchen, using the stairs or getting in and out of your home.
  • maintaining a habitable home environment – This may include whether the condition of your home is suitably clean and maintained to a safe standard. A habitable home is safe and has access to essential amenities such as water, electricity and gas.
  • developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships- This may include whether feeling lonely or isolated because your needs prevent you from being able to maintain relationships with family or friends, or if your needs prevent you from developing new relationships.
  • accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering –This may include whether you are able to access and contribute to work, training , education or volunteering. It will take into account being able to physically access facilities or buildings so you can take part.
  • making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport and recreational facilities or services – This may include your ability to get around the community safely( such as using public transport) and to access shops or recreational facilities. This does not include services available through the NHS, such as patient transport, but may include your ability to attend healthcare appointments.
  • carrying out any caring responsibilities the adult has for a child – This may include any parenting or caring responsibilities you may have for a child.

3) As a consequence of being unable to achieve these outcomes there is, or there is likely to be, a significant impact on the adult’s wellbeing.

An adult’s needs are only eligible where they meet all three of these conditions

What is a care and support needs assessment?

A care and support needs assessment (also called a needs assessment) is an opportunity for people who are eligible for Adult Social Care support tell us about their  circumstances and discuss their care and support needs.

An assessment involves us talking to you and those involved in your care to get an understanding of your current situation to determine what help, if any, we can provide to you.

All the information you provide will be recorded and we may share some of the information with our partners, such as the NHS which will help us to plan the support we may offer.

The aim is to reach an agreement about what help can be provided by adult social care services.

During the assessment, a social worker will ask how you are managing to take care of yourself and what help you feel you may need. If necessary, staff such as health workers may also be involved in your assessment.  You are welcome to invite someone along to the assessment with you.

The discussion may include:

  • what care tasks can you do for yourself?
  • what care tasks do you need help with?
  • what care tasks can you not do at all?
  • what help do you have at present?
  • what is the best way to provide the help you need?

We only ask those questions which are necessary to decide what help you need.

How can I request an assessment?

Contact the Adult Social Care First ResponseTeam

From 9.30am-1.30pm Monday to Friday on:

Telephone: 020 8545 4388
Minicom: 020 8545 4626
In case of an emergency between 1.30pm-5pm Monday to Friday please contact the Crisis Line on 07903 235 382

Out of Hours Service:  5.30pm-9.00am Monday-Sunday. Telephone: 020 8770 5000


By post:

Adult First Response
Adult Social Care 
Merton Civic Centre,
London Road
SM4 5DX  

What is a care and support plan?

Once it has been agreed that we will be arranging care / support for you, we will make out a list of services that we are going to arrange. We will write these arrangements in a care / support plan.

The care / support plan will give details of:

  • the services you will get
  • the names of the organisations which will provide the services
  • when and how often you will get the services
  • the names of the members of staff responsible for making sure that you get the services
  • the date when the services will be reviewed, to check whether your needs are being met or whether the services need to be changed
  • details of care and support needs which cannot be met and the reasons why they cannot be met
  • what to do if you are not happy with the service.

We will give you a copy of the care / support plan and discuss it with you.

What is a personal budget for?

Personal Budgets are designed to give people who need social care and support more choice and control. They can help you achieve the things that are most important to you in life.

If you need a lot of help staying independent, safe and well, you might benefit from a personal budget. The money we offer is for you to choose:

  • the type of support you need
  • who will provide it 
  • how they will provide

Personal budgets can be used in various ways. You can:

  • have it as a cash payment to cover your own support 
  • pay it directly to the service helping you
  • allow Adult Social Care arrange and pay for services for you
  • 'mix and match' cash payments and our services

If we can help, we'll calculate the amount of money we will give you towards your care and support.  

This is your personal budget. We'll then work out how much we can pay you and ask you to make a plan showing us how you'll use the money.

The money should help you look after yourself, get out and about, keep safe, manage everyday tasks or access work or learning opportunities.

It could be used for things like:

  • paying for someone to help you with personal care or daily living tasks 
  • buying equipment like computers, page-turners, personal alarms 
  • an adult learning class 
  • a break for family or friends who care for you (carers) 

But not for:

  • buying things that haven't been assessed as part of your support plan
  • gambling or debts 
  • tobacco or alcohol 
  • anything illegal 

We can help you write the plan, or you can ask a friend. Your social worker or support coordinator will look at the finished plan and agree the final amount you'll get.

If you have been assessed as having to pay towards part of the budget, the final amount will include your contribution alongside the Council's.

Managing your personal budget

Once you have your personal budget you will need to decide how to manage it. You have four choices: 

  • to take all of your personal budget as a payment to arrange and pay for your own support (this is called a ‘direct payment’) 
  • to ask us to arrange and pay for the support you have chosen 
  • to ask another organisation to arrange and pay for the support you have chosen 
  • to choose a mixture of the above 

If you have a direct payment, you will need to open a separate bank or building society account to manage the money. The money is paid into your account alongside any contribution you have been financially assessed to make.

You will be expected to complete a service agreement. This is a contract between you and us and sets out what the money can and can’t be spent on. You can then start to organise your own support and services.

If you ask us to arrange all or some of your support for you, your social worker or care co-ordinator will organise the help that has been agreed with you in your support plan.

Who can get a personal budget?

If you are over 18, live in the borough, and:

  • have difficulties with illness or getting older 
  • have a sight, hearing or physical impairment 
  • have mental health difficulties 
  • have a learning disability 
  • have drug or alcohol problems 
  • have long term health problems 
  • need to stay safe and free from harm 
  • are a carer supporting someone to keep independent, safe and well 
  • have needs which are eligible for our support
  • be willing to have a financial assessment to work out your financial contribution to a personal budget. (This is to ensure we are confident you are able to meet the requirements of managing a personal budget. We also work out how often your personal budget will need to be reviewed)

Will I have to contribute to my personal budget?

How much you’ll pay towards your personal budget depends on how much money you have coming in, any savings you’ve got, and your financial situation. You will need to complete a financial assessment form to work out exactly how much you pay towards your personal budget.

Your social worker or care coordinator will help you through this process. If you wish, they can also arrange for you to have a welfare benefits check to make sure you are receiving all the benefits you may be entitled to. This advice is free.

Your contribution is calculated in accordance with our charging policy for community care services.

How can I get a personal budget?

We'll need to meet you to talk about the type and amount of support you will need and what you would like to get out of it. This is called an 'assessment' and is free. Beforehand, have a think about things like:

  • what a good or bad day is like for you 
  • which people are most important to you 
  • what things you like to do most 
  • what you feel is or isn't going well for you at the moment 
  • how you would like things to get better 

You can ask a family member or friend to be at the meeting with you if you would find this helpful.

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