The Assisted Self Assessment Questionnaire, ASAQ, is the cornerstone of all Adult Social Care provision. This is based on the provisions of the Department of Health Fair Access to Care Services, 2003.
At the time of F’ assessment, paragraph 47 of the National Health and Community Care Act 1990, NHSSCA. This was superseded in 2012 by the Care Act.
However, paragraph 47 and 9 of the Care Act, are identical. They state that:”When it ‘merely’ appears to a local authority that any person may be need of community care services, the authority must carry out an assessment.
Para 47-(6) of the NHSSCA permits local authority to provide on temporary basis emergency care without an assessment, but this shall be carried out as soon as practicable thereafter.
Law Commission’s ‘Adult Social Care – Consultation analysis’ 2011, discusses this matter in some detail. It is possible that some of the concerns were incorporated in the 2012 Care Act.
The individual should be given the opportunity to complete the assessment document ahead of the official date. This would give him the time to carefully consider all the questions and select the appropriate answer.
The ASQ asks the individual to rate his ability to perform every day chores, in personal care, household chores, getting around and socialising.
The assessment proper should be carried out by either a Social Worker, unless the person is suffering from physical and/or sensory impairments. In this case a properly accredited Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist should carry out the assessment. Provision for this is made on the ASAQ.
The ASAQ that RBKC claims was used in F’s assessment was NOT seen by F before, during or after the assessment process. RBKC made sure that this specific document was NOT referred to by its proper name. It may have been in error, but we believe it was intentional, so as not to alert anone to the existence of the ASAQ. The unverified and unsigned by F, was not even given to him with the ‘decision letter’.
The ASAQ which could have been completed by whomever, whenever and wherever, to arrive at the predetermined result, was not even used in F’s complaints, because he was NOT aware of its existence. The only, likewise incomplete, unverified and unsigned FACE Report.
F received a copy of the ASAQ on 11th February 2012, when he asked for copies of documents sent by RBKC to the LGO. It was ONLY on this date that F realized of the ASAQ’s existence.
Later on the Disability Law Advisory service advised that unverified and unsigned assessment it not safe, subject to dispute and should not have been used in any decision process concerning vulnerable individual’s quality of life, independence and wellbeing.
As could not find any legal advice on the necessity of signatures, he asked Professor James Chalmers, who replied on 29th July 2014.