Jargon Buster

This section provides an explanation of definitions and terms that appear throughout the Care and Support for Adults section. 


Harm that is caused by anyone who has power over another person, which may include family members, friends, unpaid carers and health or social care workers. It can take various forms, including physical harm or neglect, and verbal, emotional or sexual abuse. Adults at risk can also be the victim of financial abuse from people they trust. Abuse may be carried out by individuals or by the organisation that employs them.

Act of Parliament

 If the House of Commons and the House of Lords agree proposals for a new law (called a Bill), and it then receives Royal Assent from the monarch, it becomes an Act of Parliament.

Adults Social Care

Provides help and support for vulnerable adults and their carers adversely affected by illness, disability, old age, alcohol or drug related problems. This includes the assessment of the needs of vulnerable adults and their carers, enabling service users to pursue self directed support and ensuring the provision of a wide choice of quality user led services. Services are delivered in partnership and are designed to support and promote the independence, health and wellbeing of adults, whilst respecting dignity and having zero tolerance of all forms of discrimination and abuse for the following groups:
•    Older People and Adults with long-term health conditions;
•    Adults and Older People suffering with dementia
•    Adults with learning disabilities;
•    Adults with mental health problems;
•    Adults with physical disabilities or sensory impairment.
•    Adults with alcohol or drug related problems


Representing the interests of service users. This might include identifying support needs, gaps in service provision, and/or lobbying local authorities and service providers to meet needs more effectively.


This is how a local authority decides whether a person needs care and support to help them live their day-to-day lives. 

Aids and Adaptations

Help to make things easier for you around the home. If you are struggling or adaptations disabled, you may need special equipment to enable you to live more comfortably and independently. You may also need changes to your home to make it easier and safer to get around. Aids and adaptations include things like grab rails, ramps, walk-in showers and stair-lifts.


Payments from the Government that you may receive because of your age, disability, income or caring responsibilities. Some benefits are universal – paid to everyone regardless of their income. Others are paid to people who have particular types of needs, regardless of their income. And others are means-tested – only paid to people whose income or savings fall below a certain level. Benefits in England are paid by the Department of Work and Pensions, not your local council.


A Bill is a proposal for a new law, or a proposal to change an existing law, that is presented for debate before Parliament. 


The process of informing, advising and enabling people to select or purchase their preferred support.

Capacity to Consent

Whether a person can make a decisions to agree (or refuse) a treatment, or course of action affecting them. This involves the ability to sufficiently understand and retain information about their condition. Capacity applies to each decision and is not a one-of judgement. The Mental Capacity Act offers guidance on this and assumes a person has capacity unless proven otherwise.

Care/Support Plan

A written plan after you have had an assessment, setting out what your care and support needs are, how they will be met (including what you or anyone Support plan who cares for you will do) and what services you will receive. You should have the opportunity to be fully involved in the plan and to say what your own priorities are. If you are in a care home or attend a day service, the plan for your daily care may also be called a care plan.

Care Homes

Are establishments which provide accommodation on either a short-term or permanent bases. Some care homes provide nursing care, know as nursing homes, others provide assistance with daily living, known as residential homes. basis. 

Care and support

The mixture of financial, practical and emotional support that helps people to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted, such as getting out of bed, dressed and in to work; choosing what and when to eat; and getting out of the house, being able to see friends and care for our families. 


Somebody who provides unpaid support or who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their age, physical or mental illness, or disability. 

Care Worker

A person who is paid to support someone who is ill, struggling or disabled and could not manage without this help.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

regulates all health and adult social care services in England, including those provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies or voluntary organisation. It also protects the interests of people detained under the Mental Health Act.  The CQC makes sure that essential standards of quality and safety are being met where care is provided, from hospitals to private care homes. It has a wide range of enforcement powers to take action on behalf of people who use services if services are unacceptably poor. 

Care Programme Approach (CPA)

Is a United Kingdom system of delivering community services to those with mental illness. 


A Bill is made up of clauses until it becomes an Act, when it is made up of sections. 

Client Contribution The amount you may need to pay towards the cost of the social care services contribution you receive. Whether you need to pay, and the amount you need to pay, depends on your local council’s charging policy, although residential care. Self-funding charges are set nationally. Councils receive guidance from the Government on how much they can charge.

Client Group A group of people with social care needs who fit within a broad single category. Client groups include older people, people with physical disability, people with learning disability, people with mental health problems, and so on. 

Clinical Commissioning groups (CCGs) are NHS organisations set up by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to organise the delivery of NHS services in England

Commissioning combines effectiveness and efficiency – the best possible outcomes within the resources available, and sees procurement as the means of achieving this. A person or organisation that plans the services that are needed by the people who live in the area the organisation covers, and ensures that services are available. Sometimes the commissioner will pay for services, but not always. Your local council is the commissioner for adult social care. NHS care is commissioned separately by local clinical commissioning groups. In many areas health and social care commissioners’ work together to make sure that the right services are in place for the local population.

Community Care Services Social care services that can help you live a full, independent life and to remain in your own home for as long as possible.

Community Health Services Health services that are provided outside hospitals, such as district nursing.

Continuing Health Care Ongoing care outside hospital for someone who is ill or disabled, arranged and funded by the NHS. This type of care can be provided anywhere, and can include the full cost of a place in a nursing home. It is provided when your need for day to day support is mostly due to your need for health care, rather than social care. The Government has issued guidance to the NHS on how people should be assessed for continuing health care, and who is entitled to receive it. 

Co- Production When you as an individual are involved as an equal partner in designing the support and services you receive. Co-production recognises that people who use social care services (and their families) have knowledge and experience that can be used to help make services better, not only for themselves but for other people who need social care.

Dilnot Commission

The Dilnot Commission was an independent panel that was set up to look at the fairest and most sustainable way to fund social care.

Dignity and Care

The Dignity in Care Campaign was launched by the Department of Health in November 2006. It aims to stimulate a national debate around the need for people receiving care services and those nearing the end of their life to be treated with dignity and respect. It also encourages people to become Dignity Champions.

Directors of Adult Social Services ADASS

This organisations role is to promote the education of the public in matters of social policy, social organisation and social problems and to promote the relief of the aged, sick and disabled and the preservation and protection of physical and mental health for the benefit of the public.

Direct Payments

Cash payments given to service users in lieu of community care services they have been assessed as needing, and are intended to give users greater choice in their care. The payment must be sufficient to enable the service user to purchase services to meet their eligible needs, and must be spent on services that meet eligible needs.

Domiciliary care

Also known as home care or non-residential care, it enables people to remain independent and living in their own homes.

Draft Bill

(see also Act of Parliament and Bill) A Draft Bill sets out proposals for a new law so that people and Parliament can comment on them before a Bill is formally introduced to Parliament. The Draft Care and Support Bill was published for consultation in July 2012, and became the Care Bill in May 2013. 

Duty of Care

When a council has a duty to provide suitable care, that duty is absolute and can only be on the basis of assessment, not cost. 

Early Intervention & Prevention Early Intervention means intervening early to support and build resilience amongst older people and adults with physical/learning disabilities and mental health problems particularly those that may be vulnerable, before poor outcomes develop

Eligibility Eligible needs are needs for which you may be entitled to state-funded social care and support. The Care Act 2014 introduces a national eligibility threshold, which consists of three criteria, all of which must be met for a person’s needs to be eligible. The eligibility threshold is based on identifying:
•    whether a person’s needs are due to a physical or mental impairment or illness 
•    to what extent a person’s needs affect their ability to achieve two or more specified outcomes 
•    and whether and to what extent this impacts on their wellbeing. 

Financial Assessment After the need has been identified and agreed. A financial assessment will be carried out to work out how much you will contribute towards the care and support you need. This will be based on your income, savings and your assets. Your income is all the money you have coming in each week. Examples of income include:
•    interest from savings 
•    a private pension 
•    your State Pension 
•    benefits 
•    salary or wages if you are working 
Your assets can include savings, land and buildings - but not the value of the home you live in. The current cap for care is expected to be around £72,000 (upon confirmation in the Care Act)

Green Papers’ are consultation documents produced by the Government. Often when a government department is considering introducing a new law, it will put together a discussion document called a Green Paper. The aim of this document is to allow people both inside and outside Parliament to debate the subject and give the department feedback on its suggestions. Copies of consultation documents such as Green Papers and White Papers which are produced by the Government are available on the related departmental websites

Health & Wellbeing health and well-being can be described as the following:
•    the absence of physical illness, disease and mental distress. 
•    the achievement and maintenance of physical fitness and mental stability. 
•    the result of a combination of physical, social, intellectual and emotional factors. 

Healthwatch Sefton is the new independent consumer champion created to gather and represent the views of the public in Sefton, Merseyside. Healthwatch plays a role at both local and national level and makes sure that the views of the public and people who use services are taken into account

Home Care Care provided in your own home by paid care workers to help you with your daily life. It is also known as domiciliary care. Home care workers are usually employed by an independent agency, and the service may be arranged by your local council or by you (or someone acting onyour behalf).

LAS Liquidlogic Adults' Social Care System allows practitioners to record and manage the care needs and support requirements of older and vulnerable adults. It is designed to be used by social workers, occupational therapists and additional support staff of all IT abilities The system enables the recording of contacts, referrals, assessment and plans, all within a logical and easy to navigate work flow, which reflects a Local Authorities working practices.

Inspection The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England. They inspect the quality of most hospitals, care homes, home care agencies and Councils with social service responsibilities 

Independent Living

The right to choose the way you live your life. It does not necessarily mean living by yourself or doing everything for yourself. It means the right to receive the assistance and support you need so you can participate in your community and live the life you want.

Integrated Care Joined up, coordinated health and social care that is planned and
Care organised around the needs and preferences of the individual, their carer and family. This may also involve integration with other services for example housing.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment is to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of the local community and reduce inequalities for all ages.

Local Authority An administrative unit of local government. 

Means test Investigating a person’s financial wellbeing to determine the person's eligibility for financial assistance from the state.

Most Vulnerable a person who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care of unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation

NHS Foundation Trusts NHS foundation trusts differ from other existing NHS trusts. They are independent legal entities and have unique governance arrangements. They are accountable to local people, who can become members and governors. Foundation trusts are overseen by Monitor. 

NHS Trusts There are a wide range of NHS health trusts managing NHS hospital care in England, including community care and mental health services. All NHS trusts are expected to become foundation trusts by 2014. 

Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) A NDPB is defined as a “body which has a role in the processes of national government, but is not a government department or part of one, and which accordingly operates to a greater or lesser extent at arm’s length from ministers”.

Occupational Therapist (OT) 

A professional with specialist training in working with people with different types of disability or mental health needs. An OT can help you learn new skills or regain lost skills, and can arrange for aids and adaptations you need in your home. OT’s are employed both by the NHS and local council

Older People

are the largest group of people who use adult social care services. Many councils define people over the age of 50 as ‘older’, but social care services for older people are usually for people over the age of 65 – unless you have particular  needs that make you eligible before this age.


In social care, an ‘outcome’ refers to an aim or objective you would like to achieve or need to happen – for example, continuing to live in your own home, or being able to go out and about. You should be able to say which outcomes are the most important to you, and receive support to achieve them.

Personal Budget

Money that is allocated to you by your local council to pay for care or budget support to meet your assessed needs. The money comes solely from adult social care. You can take your personal budget as a direct payment, or choose to leave the council to arrange services (sometimes known as a managed budget) – or a combination of the two.


puts people at the centre of the assessment process. It focuses on the outcomes people want to achieve and the solutions that best fit their lives. Personalisation recognises that support from family, friends and adult social services can be enhanced by support from neighbourhoods and communities. It requires staff and services to be as flexible as possible in responding to people’s individual circumstances. It also calls for very effective coordination and communication between people requiring support, their carers and all the services involved.

Personal Assistant

Someone you choose and employ to provide the support you need, in the way that suits you best. This may include cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and other things such as getting out and about in your community. Your personal assistant can be paid through direct payments or a personal budget.

Pre Assessment

The point at which you make contact with your local council and a decision is made about whether a full assessment is necessary. This is based on the information given by you or the person who refers you to adult social care. It is often conducted over the phone.

Preventive Services

you may receive to prevent more serious problems developing. These services include things like reablement, telecare, befriending schemes and falls prevention services. The aim is to help you stay independent and maintain your quality of life, as well as to save money in the long term and avoid admissions to hospital or residential care.

Pre-legislative scrutiny

This is when a Bill is examined whilst it is in draft form, before it is introduced to Parliament. Draft Bills are normally scrutinised by a Parliamentary committee. The Draft Care and Support Bill was scrutinised by a Joint Committee of Lords and MPs.

Promoting Independence

Most people would prefer to look after themselves as much as possible and to remain living in their own home. Recent guidance has challenged statutory agencies to promote such independence by ensuring that people have access to the information and services that they need. It also places increased emphasis on rehabilitation and the associated services.

Primary legislation

This a general term used to describe the main laws passed by Parliament, usually called Acts of Parliament. 

Primary Care

The part of the NHS that is the first point of contact for patients. This includes GPs, community nurses, pharmacists and dentists.


An individual, institution, or agency that provides health, care and/or support services to people. 


The contents of a legal instrument, like a Bill or Act.

Public Health

Is the science and art of co-ordinating, promoting and protecting health and well-being, preventing ill-health and prolonging life through the organised efforts of society


Is a means of promoting independence, providing personal care, help with daily living activities and other practical tasks. Reablement usually lasts for up to 6 weeks during this time service users are encouraged to re-gain and develop the confidence and skills to carry out day to day activities.  Another important aspect is that the service user continues to live at home


Is a request for an assessment of a person’s needs, or for support from a social care organisation. A referral to adult social care may be made by your GP, another health professional or anyone else who supports you. You can also refer yourself, or a member of your family, by contacting the adult social care department at your local council.


(see also Secondary Legislation) are a type of secondary legislation made under an Act of Parliament, setting out extra details that help the Act to be implemented. 

Residential care

Refers to nursing homes and residential care homes that provide around-the-clock care for vulnerable adults who can longer be supported in their own homes. Homes may be run by local councils or independent providers. Admissions to residential care can be made on a temporary or permanent basis. 

Respite Care

Is a service giving carers a break, by providing short-term care for the person with care needs in their own home or in a residential setting. It can mean a few hours during the day or evening, ‘night sitting’, or a longer-term break. It can also benefit the person with care needs by giving them the chance to try new activities and meet new people.


Is what you are entitled to receive, and how you should be treated, as a citizen. If you have a disability or mental health problem, are an older person or act as a carer for someone else, you have the right to have your needs assessed by your local council. You have a right to a service or direct payment if your assessment puts you above the eligibility threshold your council is using. You and your carers have a right to be consulted about your assessment and about any changes in the services you receive.

Risk Assessment

Is an assessment of your health, safety, wellbeing and ability to manage your essential daily routines. You might also hear the term risk enablement, which means finding a way of managing any risks effectively so that you can still do the things you want to do.


 Is when you receive a re-assessment of your needs and you and the people in your life look at whether the services you are receiving are meeting your needs and helping you achieve your chosen outcomes. Changes can then be made if necessary.

Royal Assent

Is the process whereby a Bill is presented to the reigning monarch for approval, once both Houses of Parliament have agreed on its contents. Once Royal Assent is given, a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament and is law.

Secondary legislation (see also Regulations)

This is additional law that is made by ministers under powers that are given to them in Acts of Parliament. 


Is the process of ensuring that adults at risk are not being abused, neglected, or exploited, and ensuring that people who are deemed ‘unsuitable’ do not work with them. If you believe that you, or someone you know is being abused, you should let the adult social care department know. They will carry out an investigation and put a protection plan in place if abuse is happening. Councils have a duty to work with other organisations to protect adults from abuse and neglect. This is done through the local safeguarding board.

New Directions (ND) Limited

Is a company, wholly owned by Sefton Council providing health and social care services throughout the borough. 

Self Assessment / Assisted Assessment

If you wish, you can assess your own strengths and support needs as part of the overall assessment of your social care needs or alternatively you obtain assistance from a professional or advocate.

Self-directed support

Is an approach to social care that puts you at the centre of the support planning process, so that you can make choices about the services you receive. It should help you feel in control of your care, so that it meets your needs as an individual
See also: Personalisation 

Self Funding

When you arrange and pay for your own care services and do not receive financial help from the council.


Pointing people in the direction of information that they should find useful.Your local council should signpost you towards information about social care and benefits through its helpline or call centre (if it has one), website and through local services such as libraries and health centres.

Social Worker

Is a professional who works with individual people and families to help improve their lives by arranging to put in place the things they need. This includes helping to protect adults and children from harm or abuse, and supporting people to live independently. Social workers support people and help them find the services they need. They may have a role as a care manager, arranging care for service users. Many are employed by councils in adult social care teams; others work in the NHS or independent organisations.

Support Plan

Is a plan you develop that says how you will spend your personal budget to get the life you want. You need to map out your week, define the outcomes you hope to achieve, and show how the money will be used to make these happen. Your local council must agree the plan before it makes money available to you.


Is technology that enables you to remain living independent and safe in your own home, by linking your home with a monitoring centre that can respond to your care problems. Examples are pendant alarms that you can wear round you neck.

The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework

This measures how well authorities support achieves defined outcomes for service users and how well care and services supports them to keep well and independent, and able to play an active role in their communities.

Think Local, Act Personal

Is a national, cross sector leadership partnership focused on driving forward work with personalisation, community-based social care.


Is a term used nationally for the process of change for young disabled people as they progress from childhood to adulthood. It is a time when they are considering and making decisions about their career, their continuing education, their social life and where they will live. This is no different for young disabled people, however, options available to them tend to be more restricted and putting in place plans for the future can be more challenging

Universal Services

Such as transport, leisure, health and education that should be available to everyone in a local area and are not dependent on assessment or eligibility.

Voluntary Organisations

Are independent of the Government and local councils. Their job is to benefit the people they serve, not to make a profit. The people who work for voluntary organisations are not necessarily volunteers – many will be paid for the work they do. Social care services are often provided by local voluntary organisations, by arrangement with the council or with you as an individual. Some are user-led organisations, which means they are run by and for the people the organisation is designed to benefit – e.g. disabled people.

Welfare Reform

Reforming the welfare system to help more people to move into and progress in work, while supporting the most vulnerable.


In a position where you have good physical and mental health, control over your day-to-day life, good relationships, enough money, and the opportunity to take part in the activities that interest you.

White Papers’

Are documents produced by the Government setting out details of future policy on a particular subject. A White Paper will often be the basis for a Bill to be put before Parliament. The White Paper allows the Government an opportunity to gather feedback before it formally presents the policies as a Bill.

Last Updated on Monday, February 14, 2022

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