Delays to Assessment

ADVICE NI’S HELPLINES REMAIN OPEN

We will not be providing face-to-face advice or training for the foreseeable future. We will contact existing advice clients by phone. Our staff will continue to support our members and can be reached via telephone and email as usual.

We are working hard to move our training, where possible, to digital. For any queries, please contact our training team at [email protected]

We can only provide advice to people living in Northern Ireland. 

Helpline contact details:

Welfare Changes ring 0808 802 0020 or email [email protected]
Tax & Benefits ring 0800 988 2377 or email [email protected]
Business Debt ring 0800 083 8018 or email [email protected]
Debt Action ring 0800 028 1881 or email [email protected]
EU Settlement Scheme ring 0800 138 6545 or email [email protected]
For Historical Institutional Abuse advice and support call 02890 645919 email [email protected]

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There are no legal time limits within which an assessment should be carried out which can lead to problems with delay in assessments being carried out.

The law says that where there are no set time limits for compliance then the matter should be done within a ‘reasonable time’. What is reasonable will then depend on the facts of the case and it may be possible to make a complaint against a Trust for unreasonable delay or even to complain to the Ombudsman on the grounds of maladministration, if the delay is excessive.

Most Trusts have adopted a priority scheme for assessments and will have criteria to measure how quickly you need to be assessed. However, there are often long delays in obtaining assessments.

As a guide, Trusts should ensure that older people with continuing care needs should:

  • Wait no longer than eight weeks for assessment to be completed
  • Have the main components of their care needs met within a further twelve weeks

Failure to Assess

It would be very difficult to know how to meet your needs without first assessing what those needs are. Therefore, any refusal of a request for an assessment for services could leave the Trust open to litigation.