Delays to Assessment


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.