Meeting Assessed Needs

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Once it has been established that you have needs, the next consideration is whether these will be met by the provision of a service.

A lady and her community nurse are having fun.It is necessary to check whether the Trust is under a ‘statutory duty’ to meet the need or whether it merely has a ‘power’ to do so and may exercise its discretion in considering whether to provide the service.

Statutory Duty

If there is a statutory duty, the trust cannot refuse to meet an assessed need on grounds of lack of resources. Trusts can only take their available resources into account during the assessment process when making a decision as to whether or not a need exists.

Power

Where there is simply a power to provide a service, the trust is able to exercise its discretion. However, it must exercise its discretion properly. This means that, where a Trust has a policy, it should comply with that policy. The policy must be fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.

It is also essential that the policy is not so rigid that it does not take account of individual circumstances. If it appears that there has been an abuse of discretion and you have been refused a service, you may be able to seek a judicial review of the Trust's decision.

What if I would like my needs to be met in another way?

Sometimes the situation will arise where a Trust wishes to meet an assessed need by providing a particular service but you would like a different service to be provided to meet your need.

In those circumstances, it is important to check that both services actually meet your need. Consideration can be given to whether the service suggested meets your particular psychological or cultural needs.

If only one of the services meets those needs, you should draw this to the attention of the Trust. If, however, the services are equally suitable in terms of meeting your needs, the Trust may take into account its resources at this stage. It may then depend on which service is more cost-effective to offer.

For example, if your needs can be met in a care home for £300 per week, the Trust may not pay more than this amount for you to be cared for at home. Therefore, your home services may be limited to this amount.