Hackney iCare

Glossary of Adult Social Care Terms

The purpose of this glossary is to provide definitions of commonly used adult social care or adult social care related terms. Please note that definitions provided in this document specifically relate to the work of Adult, Health and Community Services at Hackney Council. Some of the terms may be used and have different meanings in other Directorates within the Council (e g Children, Young People and Families) or other organisations, such as the National Health Service (NHS).


List of Terms (in alphabetical order)


Acute Care

Short-term medical treatment, usually in a hospital, for patients with an acute illness or injury or recovering from surgery.



Any action or service which:

  • supports, encourages or helps to represent customers;
  • helps them to understand and communicate their views, needs or rights.

Approved Mental Health Professional

An appropriately qualified and competent professional with specialist training in mental health who is approved under the Mental Health Act 1983 and acts independently but on behalf of the Local Authority. AMHP's are responsible for assessing mental health service users and making decisions relating to their detention and treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983. Professionals qualified to train as AMHP's include social workers, psychiatric nurses, clinical psychologists and occupational therapists.



A conversation held with a customer, sometimes using a questionnaire, which is used to work out what social care support a customer needs. An assessment takes place when a customer first applies for social care services. The assessment is reviewed at least once a year to make sure that the customer continues to receive the right support, but reviews may happen more frequently depending on an individual customer’s circumstances. Please also see Financial Assessment.


Assistive Technology (AT)

The use of technology or equipment by a customer to enable or promote her/him to live independently. It allows people to perform tasks, which, they would otherwise be unable to do, or increases the ease or safety with which the task can be performed. Telecare is an example of Assistive Technology.


Broker / Brokerage

An organisation or person that helps a customer to arrange the support they need. Brokerage can be done by the Council, a voluntary organisation/charity, a private company, or an individual such as a family member or friend.

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Capacity to Consent

Whether a person can make a decision to agree to (or refuse) a treatment, or course of action affecting them. This involves the ability to sufficiently understand and retain information about their condition. Capacity applies to each decision and is not a one-off judgment. The Mental Capacity Act offers guidance on this and assumes a person has capacity unless proven otherwise.


Care Funding Calculator (CFC)

A tool to support local councils, health trusts and other public bodies across England and Wales to deliver care services efficiently. It has a similar purpose to a price comparison website, but for social care services. It is used by social care practitioners and people who commission social care services to understand the cost of a person’s care package. The practitioner inputs the person’s daily support needs into the calculator, and based on a range of market costs, it works out a cost range, from which we can negotiate a fair price for the package.


Care Homes

Please see Residential Care.


Carers (unpaid)

When we talk about carers we do not mean someone who is paid to provide care as part of a contract of employment - for example, a care worker or care staff. A carer is someone, who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental illness, addiction or disability. A young carer is someone who is under the age of 18 and may be looking after his/her parents, brother or sister, grandparent or other relative who needs support.


Carers’ Services

Carers’ Services are provided to give carers a life outside of caring, for example, by supporting them to keep their job, have a hobby or relax and take time out from their caring role. These are non-chargeable services. Sometimes, so that the Carer may pursue a life outside of their caring role, it is necessary to provide replacement care for the customer who the Carer supports. It is important to remember that replacement care services are chargeable services to the customer who receives care.


Care Package

A range of community care services, a person will receive for their assessed need.


Care Programme Approach (CPA)

Providing people with serious mental health problems an individual agreed care plan.


Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The health and social care regulator for England. It looks at the ‘joined up picture’ of health and social care and promotes the rights and interests of people who use the services. It is an independent body which bases its’ actions on high quality evidence. Its work brings together independent regulation of health, mental health and adult social care.


Chargeable Services

Chargeable services refer to adult social care services that the Council is allowed to charge for by government legislation. Government legislation may also specify how much we are allowed to charge and if we are not allowed to charge for a service.


Charges for Residential Accommodation Guidance (CRAG)

This document is published by the Department of Health and issues guidelines on how local authorities should determine charges for customers who are in residential care.



Commissioning is the process by which local authorities decide how to get the best possible value for money whilst providing good quality services for local people.


Community Care

Community care enables people to maintain their independence within their own homes wherever possible. Where necessary i.e. following an assessment or review, assistance is provided to arrange long-term care in residential or nursing establishments.



People have a right to complain about a service where they think they have been unfairly treated, or have received unsatisfactory services.



Provides an opportunity for people to express their views and opinions about a service area in a constructive manner.


Continuing Health Care

Continuing health care is a package of care arranged and funded solely by the NHS. It is awarded depending on whether a person's primary need is a health need. It can be provided in a range of settings, including an NHS hospital, a care home or someone's own home.



The idea of co-production is about transforming public services with people, not just for people.

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Day Opportunities

Day Opportunities help customers to make the most of their day. In the past, giving eligible customers the chance to socialise and engage in arranged activities would probably have been provided through day centres. However, many customers have said they prefer to make use of mainstream resources and opportunities so now we help them to choose how they wish to spend their day and give them the necessary support to achieve this.


Direct Payments

Are cash payments made directly to eligible customers who choose to make their own care arrangements, rather than receiving services provided by LBH. Direct Payments are one way customers can choose to manage a personal budget . They provide greater choice and control.


Discretionary Services

These are services which local authorities are not required to provide by law. They are also sometimes referred to as Non-statutory services.


Domiciliary Care (also known as Home Care)

Domiciliary Care can help people with personal care and some of the practical household tasks that help them to stay at home and be as independent as possible.


Extra Care Housing (ECH)

Extra Care Housing offers people the opportunity to live independently in selfcontained units but with access to a flexible and responsive 24-hour care support service on site. They are suitable for accommodating the use of Assistive Technology and offer facilities and services to the wider community.


Fair Access to Care Services

This document is published by the Department of Health and issues guidelines on how councils should determine whether a customer is eligible for adult social care services. It covers how local authorities should carry out assessments and reviews and support individuals through the assessment process.


Fairer Charging

Fairer Charging refers to Government guidelines on how local authorities charge for non-residential care services. LBH, like other local authorities, operates a Fairer Charging policy, which is based on these guidelines.


Fairer Contributions

Fairer Contributions refers to the guidelines/ process used by the Council to ensure that customers only pay what they can afford to pay for non-residential care services.


Financial Assessment

A conversation, sometimes using a questionnaire, to work out what a customer can pay towards their social care services. A financial assessment will take place after an assessment has been carried out to determine a customer’s social care needs. A financial assessment is reviewed at least once a year to ensure that the customer is not paying more or less, than they should, but may happen more frequently depending on an individual customer’s circumstances.


Home Care

Please see Domiciliary Care.


Independent Mental Health Advocates

Workers that services provide to ensure an additional safeguard for people who are subject to the Mental Health Act. They are specialist advocates who are trained to work within the framework of the Act.


Individual Service Funds

An Individual Service Fund (ISF) is when someone wants to use his or her personal budget to buy support from a provider. Individual Service Funds mean that:

  • The money is held by the provider on the individual’s behalf.
  • The person decides how to spend the money.
  • The provider is accountable to the person.
  • The provider commits to only spend the money on the individual’s service and the management and support necessary to provide that service.

Intermediate Care

Intermediate Care is a generic term that covers a wide range of services that help prevent unnecessary admission to hospital, or help facilitate early discharge. The term refers to a very important range of services that can help reduce delayed discharges. These services will also improve the patient experience, either by assisting them to remain at home in situations that might previously have led to admission to hospital or care, or by enabling a supported transition back into the community following a stay in hospital.

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Means-tested Contributions

This is a calculation to determine how much customers pay towards the costs of their social care services. This calculation is based on the information provided in the Financial Assessment and the total is determined by looking at a customer’s financial circumstances, (e g what income they have, if they have any assets such as their own home, etc).


Mixed Budget

A mixed budget is when a customer wants to arrange and manage some of their Personal Budget for themselves but wants the council to arrange the rest in order to get the services they need. Please also see Direct Payments and Managed Personal Budget.


My Assessment

This is a questionnaire you are supported to complete. This is designed to help the council find out if you are eligible for social care support and understand your day-today life.


Non-chargeable Services

Non-chargeable services refer to adult social care services that the council is not allowed to charge for by government legislation. Please also see Chargeable Services.


Non-statutory services

Please see Discretionary Services.


Occupational Therapist

An Occupational Therapist has specialist training in helping people with disabilities to live as independently and comfortably as possible in their own homes.


Personal Assistant

A Personal Assistant is a person employed to help someone with his or her daily social care. They can be employed to provide support with activities such as:

  • cooking, cleaning and shopping
  • help with personal care like washing and using the toilet
  • help with getting around, either by driving or by using public transport
  • medical tasks
  • banking or paying bills

Personal Budget

A Personal Budget is the sum of money, which a customer is assessed as being entitled to receive to help them be independent, safe and well. Personal budgets can be used to pay for any type of service, (not just a social care service) that would help add value to their life as long as it is legal. For example, a person may choose to use some of their money to join a gym or a craft club to help keep them active and give them the opportunity to socialise. They must be used to achieve agreed outcomes. A person can choose to receive their Personal Budget as a Direct Payment, Mixed Budget or Personal Managed Budget. These services are chargeable.



Personalisation means giving people more choice and control over their own lives. It is support that fits around the person rather than a person having to fit around the support that is available.


Promoting Independence

Most people would prefer to look after themselves as much as possible and to remain in their own home. Recent guidance has challenged statutory agencies to promote such independence by ensuring that people have access to the information and services that they need. It also places increased emphasis on rehabilitation and the associated services.


Provider of Care Services

An independent or statutory organisation that may provide a whole range of care services.


Purchaser of Care Services

May be the local authority or individuals with their own private financial means or direct payments who purchase care services for others or themselves.


Putting People First

This is a Government agreement to transform public services. The aim of this agreement is to help people to live their own lives as they wish, confident that services are of high quality, are safe and promote their own individual needs for independence, well-being and dignity.

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Specialised help for people to regain the skills and confidence they need to continue living independently at home. Reablement services are currently available to people leaving hospital and people requesting social care support for the first time. Our aim is to open up these services to all people who might benefit. This is currently free of charge for up to six weeks.



Rehabilitation refers to any treatment, therapy or process that helps return a person to health. It aims to support people to achieve the highest possible quality of health and life within their circumstances and within our resources.


Replacement Care

Replacement care is a service, which is available to customers if their regular carer is unavailable. It is important to remember that replacement care services are chargeable services to the customer who receives care.


Residential Care

Residential care is accommodation for older people and adults with disabilities who are unable to live independently in their own homes.


Resource Allocation System (RAS)

When a customer applies for social care, services they are assessed to work out what their support needs are. Once the needs have been identified, the Resource Allocation System is used to estimate how much these needs might cost. The final amount may change, as the cost of a service may depend on things such as a customer’s location.


Respite Services

These services are available for customers to give their partners or family carer a break or holiday. These are Chargeable Services.


Self-Directed Support

Self-Directed Support puts eligible customers in control of the care and support they receive. With self-directed support, the council does not make choices for the customer but instead supports the customer to:

  • Identify what they need to make their life better.
  • Know how much money they may get to spend on support.
  • Decide what support they receive.
  • Decide when and how they receive it.

Self-funders are people who organise their own care services, with or without assessment by, or assistance from LBH.


Shared Lives Schemes

Shared Lives is a model of adult placements that offers personalised services. The schemes recruit, assess and support carers who offer accommodation or care and support in their family home to people who are unable to live independently. They are usually managed by local authorities or voluntary sector providers and are monitored by the Care Quality Commission, which regulates social care in England.


Social Worker

Social workers usually work for Adult Social Care and Support. They have training in dealing with people's needs, and arranging services that will help them. They all need to be registered with the General Social Care Council.



People or organisations, which have an interest in a proposed development or idea.


Supporting People

Supporting People commissions and monitors housing related support services.


Adult Social Care

There is no simple definition of adult social care. However, it is agreed it covers a wide range of services provided by local authorities and the independent sector to adults either in their own homes or in a care home. It also covers day centres, which help people with daily living. Services like help with washing, dressing, feeding or assistance in going to the toilet are also included, as are meals-on-wheels and home help for people with disabilities.


Support Plan

This is the plan agreed by the customer and social care practitioner to meet the customer’s care and support needs. A customer will always have a support plan even if they choose to receive a Direct Payment, Personal Managed Budget, an individual service fund or a combination.


Suitable Person

A Suitable Person can be appointed if someone lacks capacity to consent to direct payments. The appointed person will receive and manage the payment for those people. The law tells the council who can act as this person.



This is equipment, which helps to keep people safe in their own homes, using sensors such as fall detectors and personal pendants linked to a monitoring and response centre.



A Trust can be a group of people made up of friends and family, or a private or voluntary organisation, who can look after a person’s Personal Budget on their behalf.


User Involvement

Working in a way to ensure customers have a say in their care or about a service as a whole. For example, setting up user groups to get their views on how services are developed in the future.


Personal Managed Budget (Virtual budgets)

A personal managed budget sometimes called a virtual budget is when a customer wants the Council to manage their Personal Budget for them, rather than receiving a Direct Payment and arranging care themselves.


Virtual Wards

Virtual wards use the systems and staffing of a hospital ward, but without the physical building; they provide preventative care for people with long-term health conditions in their own homes and reduce the need for hospital admissions.

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