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Assessment - we will find out with you what your needs are


Assessment is the way we find out about how you are and what difficulties you might have, work out what treatment or support you might need and how we can help. Assessments are carried out by trained health or social care professionals. 

We will talk to you about your your situation, any difficulties you have, discuss what you would like to happen, and what’s important to you.

The assessment process may vary depending on your needs and the service you are referred to. We may sometimes be asked for an opinion (a consultation) but may not need or be able to fully assess your needs, in which case we may give guidance. In this situation, the full assessment standards may not apply – for more information, see individual team pages.

Waiting for an appointment - You may have been given an appointment to meet with a member of staff from our services.  Please read our Waiting Well guide which gives hints and tips about keeping well whilst waiting to see someone.


  • Make sure assessments are done at the right time, by a qualified worker. This may be one meeting, or may take longer, but we may start your support, treatment or therapy from the first time we meet you. 

  • Make sure we can communicate well with you, and that you have any adjustments or adaptations you need for this

  • Tell you about confidentiality and information sharing

  • Try to keep you and others safe

  • Make sure you know that you can have someone there to support you

  • Use any systems that could help you, such as the Care Programme Approach for people with a mental health problem


Find out

  • Listen to you and hear what you say

  • Involve you in your assessment as much as you want or are able to, and explain what happens in a way that makes sense to you

  • Involve other people or agencies if we need specialist advice or information

  • Find out about assessments or tests you’ve already had, and try not to ask you the same questions again

  • Include information from parents/carers, relatives, or others (with your agreement if you are able to consent, although if there is a significant risk we may have to override this)


Assess things like:

  • Why you have come to our service

  • Your mental and physical health       

  • The main things that have happened in your life so far

  • Your family, friends and important relationships, and any children in the household or with whom you have regular contact

  • Any family issues that may affect you

  • Anyone you’re helping to look after (a family member, or someone else important in your life), where you live and who with, who supports you

  • How your lifestyle may be affecting your health

  • Any communication, financial or legal needs you have

  • How you spend your time (work/school/leisure)

  • How you manage day to day, what you may need help with, and what you do well

  • If you drink alcohol or use drugs, and how this affects you

  • Things that affect your life, such as your religion, cultural and spiritual needs, sexuality, age, gender, disability etc.

  • Services you (or your family) are already getting, and any treatment such as medicines you take

  • Your views, wishes, and strengths, and the views of your family or carers

  • Any risks to you or other people, including Children or Vulnerable Adults

  • Support or treatment you and your family/carers may have had and/or are still receiving.


After the Assessment

  • When we’ve gathered enough information, come up with a formulation that summarises and explains what’s happened, and helps us recommend what might help

  • Record information and share it with you and the person who referred you (and your family/carer if this is OK with you).

  • When we’ve worked out with you the things that we can help with, we’ll put these into a plan. If there isn’t anything we can help with, we’ll explain this, and try to help you find someone who can. 

 The Core Care Principles run through all the standards. For Assessment, this is how they apply:

         About your Assessment:


We will also ensure you are able to raise compliments, comments, concerns and complaints about the assessment process.

Where someone using our services is a parent and/or looking after children, or is in contact with children, we want to support them, and make sure the children are protected from harm, are safe and well.

To do this, we make sure that we:

  • Consider the needs of the children in any assessment we make of someones needs, and assess the impact of any difficulties  
  • Share relevant information with other professionals working with the family to make sure we have a wider view and a shared understanding of the situation, and to make sure the right support is given
  • Consider the importance of early intervention and seeking the support and involvement of other agencies where necessary
  • Consider any issues and the impact of domestic abuse, parental mental health and substance misuse
  • Identify children who are acting as young carers for a parent or sibling, assess their needs and offer them support


We use the Think Family principles in our work: 

  • No wrong door – contact with any service offers an open door into a system of joined-up support. This is based on more coordination between adult and children's services.
  • Looking at the whole family – services working with both adults and children take into account family circumstances and responsibilities. For example, an alcohol treatment service combines treatment with parenting classes while supervised childcare is provided for the children.
  • Providing support tailored to need – working with families to agree a package of support best suited to their particular situation.
  • Building on family strengths – practitioners work in partnerships with families recognising and promoting resilience and helping them to build their capabilities. For example, family group conferencing is used to empower a family to negotiate their own solution to a problem.


  • The Assessment Framework triangle 2002

  • Safeguarding children policies and procedures

  • Working together 2013

  • Our children deserve better 2012 CMO report

  • Safeguarding Children across services, messages from research 2012

  • What to do if you're worried a child is being abused 2006

If you require any information about our policies please contact:

Freedom of Information
Ashbourne Centre
Kingsway Site
Derby DE22 3LZ
or email:

This doesn’t include profession-specific specialist assessments. (The way we record assessments will depend on your needs and what works best for you – these are some examples we might use)

FACE Risk forms – Adult, Older Adult, Young People, LD, SU

Standardised Child Developmental  Assessment

Physical health assessments for in-patient/physical health assessment for community

CPA4CAMHS documentation

Working Together with Carers form WTC

CAF documentation

Young Persons Assessment

County Adult assessment substance misuse

HALT – Assessment, including AUDIT/FAST   

City Alcohol Assessment

Mental Health Drug Team Assessment 


County – agreement of expectations

City – Bradshaw Clinic – contract

Parental consent and competency to consent to treatment (YP), Confidentiality form, Information sharing. 

Harm Reduction assessment

Prior to assessment LFT and Drink diary (city alcohol team)

Preparation pack for residential rehabilitation

Person Centred Tools www.helensandersonassociates.co.uk/what-we-do.aspx


Healthy Child Programme Core Assessments:

Primary Birth Visit Assessment.

6-8 week health review

6-12 month development review

2-2.5year health review

Parent Held Record (red books)

Child Health Records – paper and System One (TPP)

School health entry review (YR and Y7)


Multi agency assessments:

Team around the Family (TAF)

Team around Child (TAC)

Common Assessment Framework (CAF)


Specialist assessments:

Initial Assessment for short break services

Health Needs Assessment

Children in Care reviews

Continence assessments

National Tariff Payment System (NTPS) 

If you are, or someone you care for is, receiving mental health care from Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, information about which clusters are most relevant for your needs is available from the staff providing your care.

National Tariff Payment System (NTPS) - what is it?

NTPS (the new name for PbR) has two main functions:


  • It is a new funding system for mental health services
  • NTPS provides a clear and transparent method of funding, where the money follows the service user with services designed to meet patient need
  • It has been introduced to make sure that the NHS gives the right types of care to each person using its services
  • NTPS also helps the Trust make sure that the way its clinical care is organised and ensures that a person receives the right kind of care at the right time
  • NTPS will also help the Trust to show that this care is helping the person with their recovery. 



It is a system that helps us match the needs identified in an initial assessment with a ‘Care Cluster’. This helps us decide on the package of care that the person is likely to need.

Care Clusters and Care Pathways

Many services are being organised into Care Pathways (also known as Clinical Pathways, or Integrated Care Pathways) which promote organised and efficient care based on clinical evidence and improved outcomes.

For adult and older adult services, these care pathways are called Care Clusters. Care Clusters are basically care for a range of needs organised into packages of care for people with similar needs even though their diagnosis' may be quite different.

How does it work? 

When your assessment is completed and your needs are identified, the clinician will see which Care Cluster contains the most appropriate treatment and therapies; this will help in care planning and organising reviews.

  • Step 1: The person referred will have an initial clinical assessment.
  • Step 2: The clinician will then compare the information they have collected to a set of criteria. This matches their assessed needs to the care that will be required.
  • Step 3: The clinician then confirms the Care Cluster.
  • Step 4: The clinician and service user agree the care plan, which will meet the Trust's Core Care Standards.


NTPS Interactive PDF  

How can I find out more?

  • Click on the picture on the right of this page or Dynamic PbR pdf to for more information about each of the 20 Care Clusters, likely diagnosis, evidence based therapies and approaches, a directory of mental health resources, outcomes and the register of approved therapies.

National Tariff Payment System - Dynamic PDF

A tool for information on:

  • Cluster definitions
  • Associated diagnosis
  • Current evidence and national guidance, including NICE and clinical knowledge summaries
  • Trust register of approval therapies
  • Mental health resources.


How to use the tool

Download the How To... guide below:

How To Use the National Tariff Payment System - Dynamic PDF

CPA Standards and Update (CPA level 1)

Care Co-ordinators Underpinning Knowledge (CPA level 2)

Clinical Risk Training

Safeguarding Training

Common Assessment Training

Equality and Diversity Training

Integrated processes training

Formulation/Analysis training

Capacity to summarise assessments

Care Quality Commission - Regulations for providers including the fundamental standards 

The Care Coordination Association website gives information and advice about the Care Programme Approach in mental health and learning disabilities services in England and Wales 

Refocusing the CPA 2008 is the last national policy guide for the Care Programme Approach

Choice and Partnership Approach in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services 

CR144 Challenging Behaviour: a Unified Approach 

SCIE - at a glance 43: The deprivation of liberty safeguards

Mental Capacity Act 2005 - code of practice

Mental Health Act 1983 - code of practice

Care Act 2014

Childrens and Families Act 2014

Treat Me Right Mencap report on services for people with a learning disability 

NICE guidelines (National Institute for Clinical Excellence)

SCIE 30 (Social Care Institute for Excellence) think child, think parent, think family: a guide to parental mental health and child welfare.