Needs Assessment Policy


The aim of Cavendish Homecare Professionals is that every plan of care offered by the service to a client will be based upon an accurate and full assessment of their needs that they, or people close to them, have been fully involved in.


  • No new client will be offered care by the organisation without a full needs and risk assessment being completed that enables Cavendish Homecare Professionals to fully understand and identify the needs and preferences of the prospective client and to judge whether or not the organisation has the appropriate services, facilities, philosophies and staff skills to meet those needs. All needs, including emotional and social needs, should be included in assessments.
  • Staff conducting the initial needs assessment must ensure that risk assessments balance safety and effectiveness with the right of the person who uses the service to make their own informed choices and decisions, taking account of their capacity to make those choices and their right to take informed risks.
  • Staff conducting the initial needs assessment must recognise the diversity, values and human rights of people who use our services and uphold and maintain their privacy, dignity and independence wherever possible, including during the needs assessment and care planning process, where the clients should be fully involved at all stages.
  • Whenever a prospective client is referred by a health or social care agency the organisation will try to obtain, as promptly as possible, a summary of the care management needs assessment and a copy of any existing care plan. Any further needs assessment conducted by the organisation will attempt to build on this assessment and every attempt will be made to avoid or minimise any unnecessary duplication.
  • Staff conducting the initial needs assessment will be expected to go to great lengths to ensure that the needs assessment is a positive and supportive process for the prospective client and will ensure that questions are asked in an appropriate, sensitive and respectful way, especially where they involve personal information.
  • The response to questions will be recorded on a needs assessment form. All information given during the assessment will be treated as strictly confidential and the form will be securely stored.
  • Throughout the assessment process Cavendish Homecare Professionals will involve the prospective client as fully as possible and encourage them to ask questions and check for clarification.
  • Where appropriate, and only with the permission of the prospective client, where they are able to give it, the organisation will involve in the assessment carers, relatives or representatives as appropriate, and will seek as far as possible to take into account their views, needs and wishes.
  • The assessment process will be carried out only by appropriately trained and qualified members of staff. The communication needs of the prospective client will be taken into account and every effort made to ensure that they are put at their ease and communicated with effectively in a way that they can understand.
  • If the organisation believes that the person being assessed may lack the capacity to make their own decisions, and where there are no relatives or other legal representatives, then arrangements will be made for an external advocate to be involved. In such cases the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 will be followed.
  • Clients, and relevant persons as appropriate, should be actively encouraged and supported to participate in decision-making as much or as little as they wish to be, including taking all steps to maximise their mental capacity to make their own choices.
  • The assessment will be organised at a time and place that is mutually convenient.
  • The needs assessment will be conducted in a systematic and organised way in order to gain sufficient information to ensure that the assessor gains a full picture of the prospective clients’ needs, capabilities and wishes.
  • The needs assessment will include questions about any special needs that a prospective client may have. In such cases the organisation may need to refer to expert advice from other healthcare professionals involved in their care. This will always be done with the full knowledge, cooperation and permission of the prospective client.
  • As soon as possible after the needs assessment, the organisation will communicate with the prospective client, or their representative, and state whether or not the organisation feels it can meet their needs and offer an appropriate service. An individualised plan of care will then be agreed. Every effort will be made to reduce duplication in this process and the new client will be fully involved at every step.
  • If during the course of an assessment the organisation decides it would not be able to meet a prospective client’s needs then the person responsible for the assessment should communicate with the person, or their representative, as soon as possible and inform them of the situation.
  • Where appropriate, the initial home care assessment will include a risk assessment addressing the safety needs of the home care staff to be placed in the home. This may cover aspects such as security, fire safety, manual handling and safety from slips, trips and falls. Where help with cooking, eating or drinking is included, the risk assessment will also cover kitchen hygiene.
  • All personal information held on record about a client will be treated confidentially and kept in a secure place. The client can ask for access to details of information held on record, including computer records, and this will be facilitated.
  • The needs assessment will be reviewed as required, particularly if the circumstances of the client change.

Management duties

Managers have a duty to:

  • ensure that this policy has been read and understood by all home care staff and assessors and that it is operated throughout the organisation as part of everyday practice at all times
  • investigate any complaints, adverse events or incidents relating to clients’ needs assessment, and to review relevant incident reports, looking out for any trends or patterns that may indicate that improvement action needs to be taken
  • communicate this policy to employees, agency staff, volunteers and relevant others, including, where appropriate, other agencies and organisations
  • provide training and guidance as appropriate and ensure the attendance of staff, including training on induction and management courses covering needs assessment and personalised care.

Staff duties

Staff have a duty to:

  • report any issues or problems related to needs assessment, particularly any potential hazards or risks
  • respect clients’ privacy, dignity and human rights at all times, and treat clients with sensitivity, respect and thoughtfulness
  • wherever possible, support clients’ independence
  • comply with and implement the organisation’s policies and procedures
  • act within the limits of their training at all times.



Date: January 2024

Version: 5 (Review)

Source: ECM