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Accessing community care services

For someone to get community care services, including residential or nursing home care or help at home Medway Council needs to know that they may need a service. This is called making a referral.

Who may make a referral?

  • The person who needs the service
  • A relative or friend who cares for them
  • A doctor, health visitor or other professional concerned with their care
  • Any other person who acts on behalf of another and with their consent.

What happens next?

An officer of Medway Council's Children and Adults Services Directorate, who will obtain as much detail as possible relevant to the current situation and needs, will take the referral.

They will want to know how urgent the referral is and whether the person concerned is at risk in any way. Sometimes they will be able to help immediately through giving information and advice. Depending upon the kind of things that help is needed with, the person may be offered an assessment.

Who is entitled to an assessment?

Everyone has the right to have their needs assessed if it appears that they might need support from community care services. This also includes people who look after someone else, that is, a carer.

The assessment for community care

An officer of Medway Council's Children and Adults Directorate will normally lead the assessment of needs. They may need to contact other agencies and organisations that may already be involved with a person's care, for example their doctor, district nurse or warden, to assist in the assessment.

What is the role of a care manager or social worker?


  • assess the eligibility of clients to receive services
  • assess individuals in order to establish care needs
  • develop plans and processes to meet the agreed needs
  • agree and negotiate for appropriate resources
  • contract service providers to meet individual service plans
  • monitor the client's progress against an individual service plan
  • negotiate amendments so that the client’s changing needs are met
  • monitor the budget implications of contracted services.

Paying for services

Medway Council may make a charge for services. The amount to be paid will depend on how much income and savings a client has. The method of charging is determined nationally. In all cases, a financial assessment will be carried out to determine their ability to pay towards their care.

If they are being supported by Children and Adults Services and choose to enter a home which is more expensive than the maximum amount payable by Medway Council, arrangements can be made as long as a third party (e.g. a relative or friend) is able to pay the difference.

In Medway, a direct payments scheme has been introduced, whereby people who are able and who wish to do this may make their own arrangements to employ carers and home support workers. This scheme can only be used following a full needs assessment by the council's care management staff.

Medway Council has a Welfare Benefits Team that is able to give advice and advocacy on behalf of service users to ensure that they are able to claim benefits due to them.

Contact Us

Phone: 01634 334466

Email: ss.accessandinfo@medway.gov.uk

In writing: Adults and Childrens Services Team, Medway Council, Gun Whard, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR