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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Carer and Family assessments

Carers have a statutory right to their own assessment, even if the person they care for does not wish to engage with services. Carers often feel that if the person who is ill is receiving the right services then their needs are also being met. But you must also consider your own needs and find out what help is available to make life a little, or a lot, easier.

It is important to realise that this is not an assessment of your ability to care or your financial status, it is simply a way to identify any needs you may have and let you know what support is available.

It can be a difficult process to go through: admitting being a carer and admitting how much it involves. However, if the assessment is offered at the appropriate time and by someone willing to spend time helping you through it, it should enable you to identify where you may need support and how to get it. This should improve your ability to cope with your role.

Carers assessment

What can our Trust offer?

An assessment of a carer’s needs is a conversation designed to help a carer consider their experiences of coping with mental health concerns of a family member or friend, and discuss any needs that arise from that experience. The aims of the interview are:

  • a discussion about your caring role
  • an opportunity to talk about the impact of your caring role on your life
  • a way to identify your need for support or further information
  • a time to plan what you would prefer to happen in emergency.

Some things you may want to think about in preparation for your carer’s assessment:

  • Is your sleep disturbed?
  • Is your health affected?
  • Do you get time for yourself?
  • Are your relationships with other people affected?
  • What is the impact on your employment, education and social opportunities?
  • Do you worry that you may have to give up work or are you having difficulties returning to work?
  • Planning for an emergency?
  •  Do you need information about the service user’s mental health concerns, including symptoms and behaviours.


Ask, also, that whoever carries out the assessment will actually spend time with you, helping you to fill out the form. You may find that discussing different issues helps you to be clearer about your role, your needs and what, if anything, can be done to lighten the burden.

The assessment may be offered during the care plan meeting for the service user by the care co-ordinator. If not, then it is perfectly alright for you to request one when you feel comfortable about it. If it is offered in front of the person you care for you might feel uncomfortable accepting it. If you do turn it down this does not stop you approaching the care co-ordinator later to accept the carers’ assessment.

Please speak to the care co-ordinator of the person you support for more information.  If you feel that you need support to approach our staff or social care staff in order to gain a carer's assessment, you can contact carers support workers or our trust's customer relations team (contact information here).

What carers assessments are available elsewhere?

A carer's assessment is an opportunity to discuss with the local council what support or services you need. The assessment will look at how caring affects your life, including for example, physical, mental and emotional needs, and whether you are able or willing to carry on caring.

- Carer's Assessment, Carers UK

Birmingham City Council and Solihull Council

The Care Act 2014 gives you the same rights to assessment and support as those you care for. Each Council has a duty to carry out an assessment and arrange support to meet your eligible needs. The assessment will enable us to understand important issues such as whether you are able and willing to carry on caring, whether you want to work, whether you want to study or do more socially.

The level of support you will receive from the Council will depend on a number of factors; however, they will sign post you to other service providers who will as a minimum provide you with advice, support and guidance. If you receive support from the Council and give unpaid/informal care and support to someone else you are still entitled to a carers assessment. This will be a separate assessment and will be an assessment that considers your needs as a carer. 


Birmingham City Council on 0121 303 1234 for a carers assessment

Email: MyCareInBirmingham.Enquiries@birmingham.gov.uk

Solihull Adult Social Care at Solihull Connect on 0121 704 8007

Email: ccadults@solihull.gov.uk