What is adult social care?

Adult social care is the support and assistance given to people who may need help with everyday tasks to stay independent. This could be for people who are older, with disabilities or neurodiversity, mental health issues and those people who care for them. Choosing adult social care involves considering a range of factors to ensure the best possible support.

The first step is usually an assessment. Everyone is entitled to this, whether they will pay for their own care or not. An assessment is done by a trained professional in line with national eligibility criteria to understand a person’s needs. Assessments for Surrey residents are undertaken by Surrey County Council and details about this can be found https://adultsocialcareportal.surreycc.gov.uk/web/portal/pages/home

In the assessment you will also discuss types of care available. Some of the more common forms of care can be found here:

Also known as Home Based Care or Domiciliary Care. Support is provided in a person’s own home, including help with personal care, household tasks, and companionship. This might be from a few hours of care a week to live-in care where a carer stays with you for up to 24 hours a day.

Living in a care home with your own room where round-the-clock support is available, including assistance with daily activities, meals, and access to healthcare professionals. Residential care can be two types – either with nursing or without nursing. A Residential Care home with nursing has qualified nurses on site for people who also have specific nursing needs. People can also book short term care in a care home which may be for a brief period of time to allow a break for caregivers, for rehabilitation or following on from a stay in hospital.

Daytime support and activities provided in a community setting, which offers everyday activities and social interaction for the person. It can be an opportunity for respite for caregivers as well. The person may attend for one day a week or for multiple days, depending on their requirement.

This is supported accommodation for people with disabilities or mental health issues, promoting their independence with the comfort of knowing that a support worker is there should they be needed.

Sometimes called Extra Care housing, this allows you to retain your independence by having your own front door, while knowing care is on hand if you need it. It is purpose-built flats or bungalows with care and support available on site. People can purchase as much of the care and support as they require. Extra care housing is usually bought on a leasehold basis or rented, or sometimes a combination of the two. Many facilities also have restaurants and communal areas to socialise with others, hairdressing, and laundry facilities, as well as organised activities and outings.

There can be many things to consider when selecting the right care service. Here are a few things that you may wish to think about:

When choosing adult social care, it is essential to research and assess the quality and reputation of potential providers. Look for the CQC (Care Quality Commission) Inspection results of services and check for reviews and recommendations from other service users.




Adult social care can be costly, and funding options vary depending on individual circumstances and the type of care required. Some people will be eligible for funding to cover all or part of their care by the Council or the NHS depending upon their circumstances. It is important to understand the costs involved and explore available funding options before making a decision. Personal Preferences and Needs: Consider your preferences, values, and specific care needs when choosing adult social care. For example, some people prefer to remain in their own home for as long as possible, while other people prefer the social interaction and support provided in a care home setting.

Look for providers that offer continuity of care and can adapt if your needs change over time. If you have established a trusting relationship with a care provider, it may be difficult to move to something else.

Consider the location and accessibility of the service. Is it near family and friends? Are there good transport links?

Paying for Care

The first point of contact for working out paying for care should always be Surrey County Council, as a part of the assessment process. They will give you details on undertaking a financial assessment https://adultsocialcareportal.surreycc.gov.uk/web/portal/pages/ofa

You can make an online assessment of your needs and eligibility on SCC’s website here, or you call 0300 200 1005, or text: 07527 182 861, or e-mail [email protected]

There are several ways in which you can pay for care. You will have to pay for the full cost of your care if you have savings of:

  • £23,250 or above for residential services
  • or £24,500 or above for non-residential services.
  • If you have less than this, you may qualify for financial support from the Council.

Direct Payments

What are Direct Payments?

If you already have support from social services, you can apply for direct payments.

It lets you choose and buy the services you need yourself, instead of getting them directly from. Surrey County Council.

Direct payments and Personal Budgets are social care payments for people who:

  • have been assessed as needing help from social services and
  • who would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support services instead of receiving them directly from the local authority


Useful Links, General information and advice

Surrey County Council

Providing you with information on staying independent, assessments to identify your care and support needs, including an assessment for carers. An overview of accommodation options for those with care and support needs. They also provide an information and Advice Service to help you with your care and support needs. Website: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/adults

Surrey County Council Information and Advice Service

Availability: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

Phone: 0300 200 1005

Email: [email protected]

Textphone or smartphone via Relay UK: 18001 0300 200 1005

SMS: 07527 182 861 (for the deaf or hard of hearing)

BSL: Sign Language Video Relay Service – https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/contact-us/british-sign-language


Connect to Support Surrey

For local help to stay independent, healthy, and connected to your local community you can contact Connect to Support. Website: https://www.connecttosupportsurrey.org.uk/


Learning Disability and Autism Hub

provides information, guidance, and access to support services for local adults with a Learning Disability or Autism, and their families.

Website: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/adults/care-and-support/disability/spb


Age UK Surrey

Charity that supports older people (50+) and carers countywide, providing information and advice, access to groups and activities, befriending and a range of paid services.

Tel: 01483 503414

Text: 07593 139560

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/surrey/


Healthy Surrey

Information and advice on nutrition, getting active, weight management and positive lifestyle behaviours. They also host a virtual wellbeing hub Find virtual events and services that meet your needs, keeping you connected while you stay at home.

Website: https://www.healthysurrey.org.uk/


Action for Carers

Provides free, independent information, advice, and access to support to carers of all ages across Surrey.

Tel: 0303 040 1234

Text: 07723 486730

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.actionforcarers.org.uk/


Action for Carers – Surrey Young Carers

Provides a range of support depending on your situation, from activities to provide time out from your caring role and meet children in a similar position, to more intensive groups and tailored one-to-one help.

Tel: 01483 568 269

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.actionforcarers.org.uk/who-we-help/young-carers-under-18/


Active Surrey

Get help to be more active and improve your health and wellbeing.

Website: https://www.activesurrey.com/

Email: [email protected]


Crossroads Care Surrey

Crossroads Care Surrey in partnership with Surrey County Council and the NHS provide a range of support for carers who might need a break, time for themselves, enjoy a hobby or just a chat with other carers.

Tel: 01372 869970

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://crossroadscaresurrey.org.uk/


Healthwatch Surrey

An independent organisation listening to experiences from people in Surrey and providing evidence-based feedback to commissioners and providers to influence, inform and, if necessary, challenge decisions and plans.

They can also provide, or signpost to, information about local services and how to access them and offer a free, independent advocacy service for people wishing to make a complaint about NHS care.

Website: https://www.healthwatchsurrey.co.uk/

Telephone: 0303 303 0023

SMS (text only): 07592 787533

Email: [email protected]


Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

Campaigns and promotes the rights of disabled people to equality of opportunity and to live independently. They run a selection of networks that you can join to enable you to have a voice on things that matter to you where you live and help co-design health and social care services.

Tel: 01483 456558

Text: 07908 671402

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://surreycoalition.org.uk/


Surrey Independent Living Charity (SILC)

Offers a range of services to help you live independently including support to find and manage a personal assistant.

Tel: 01483 458 111

SMS: 07771 108 624

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.surreyilc.org.uk/


Care Choices

Produce the Care Services Directory on care providers in Surrey.

Website: https://www.carechoices.co.uk/publication/surrey-care-services-directory/


Advocacy services


Provides a range of different advocacy services.

An advocate is someone who can speak up for you. They can help if you face difficulties in being

involved in decisions about your care, having your voice heard and normally have no other independent person to help you do so.

An advocate can help you say what you want, secure your rights, represent your interests, and obtain services you need. Advocacy is free, independent, and confidential.

Website: https://www.pohwer.net/surrey

Telephone: 0300 456 2370