Adults with care and support needs

The Care Act 2014 and the National Eligibility Framework for social care has replaced various pieces of legislation and policies.

Adult social care has a legal duty to provide access to services which may in some circumstances include transporting people to locations to access services. This applies where adults are eligible for social care support.

The Care Act 2014 sets out that duty as follows:

‘The national eligibility criteria set a minimum threshold for adult care and support needs and carer support needs which local authorities must meet. All local authorities must comply with this national threshold’.

The act details that:

‘Local authorities should consider the adult’s ability to get around in the community safely and consider their ability to use such facilities as public transport, shops or recreational facilities when considering the impact on their wellbeing’.

The provision of adult social care is aimed at promoting the maximum possible independence for adults with care and support needs.

In extending this principle to the provision of transport, this policy sets the criteria that will be used to assess whether the adult’s needs to access services and community amenities and if these needs can be best met through independent travel arrangements, privately funded transport, or whether council arranged travel assistance is necessary.

This policy rests upon a general assumption and expectation that wherever possible, adults with care and support needs will meet their own needs for travelling to access and take advantage of services, or support to facilitate them.

Transport is a means of accessing other services or support. The overriding principle is that the decision to provide transport is based on a person’s individual circumstances including: needs, risks, outcomes and on promoting independence.

Travel assistance will only be provided if, in the opinion of the assessor, accessibility to transport is required to be provided by the council, in order that the adult with care and support needs is able to achieve one or more of the outcomes that the adult requires support to achieve.

This is to be determined by the assessment of the adults needs under the Care Act 2014 which forms the basis on which adult social care responds to requests for assistance and is concerned with exploring a person’s presenting needs and determining their eligibility for services.

The provision of transport will only be considered in relation to meeting the needs of adults aged 18 years and over who have been assessed as eligible for services and/or support from adult social care. 

As part of the assessment and care planning process carried out by the council, the need to pursue  other  activities  away  from  the  adult’s  home  may  be  identified.  The need for transport to any community service or activity service must be part of the assessment of a person’s needs and outcomes. For more information on social care assessments for adults, see your assessment.

Assessment of eligibility, for the provision of transport assistance, will be undertaken in consideration of:

  • the Care Act 2014
  • the availability of existing transport
  • the availability of existing sources of funding that are currently provided to the adult to meet a mobility need (e.g. mobility allowance)
  • the ability of a person to travel independently with regard to their physical mobility and other factors that may introduce risk including conditions that will lead to the deterioration of a person’s ability to travel without assistance.

The assessor will use this information to determine whether the adult with care and support needs:

  • is capable of travelling independently on the proposed method of transport without an unreasonable level of risk;
  • requires some training, support or assistance that will enable them to be capable of travelling independently in the near future;
  • is not capable of travelling independently on the proposed method of transport and will therefore recommend a method of Council funded transport as set out in this policy that is appropriate to their assessed needs.

Where there is an identified eligible need for the provision of travel assistance, as a result of the needs assessment carried out by social services, this will be agreed as part of the social care budget allocation and commissioned via the provider of the wider care package, or may be organised by Trafford Travel Co-ordination Unit (TTCU).

Where an individual is provided with a personal budget or requests a direct payment to meet their assessed needs for care, the same principles will apply as to those people opting to receive support directly from adult social care. The cost of transport will only be included in the personal budget or direct payment where no other suitable alternative is available and it is considered that the adult is eligible for this support to meet assessed needs and outcomes as set out above.