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Social Care and Health Professional Roles Explained

It can be confusing which service provides what and what the different professional roles are responsible for. Here is an explanation to try to help make this clearer.

Adult Social Care is part of Dorset Council and have an array of professionals including Social Workers and Occupational Therapists. Adult Social Care and Health is when Health colleagues from NHS are integrated with Adult Social Care professionals in the same teams working closely together.

Social Workers are trained professionals who can assess your needs and through discussion advise which services or community opportunities may suit them. Sometimes other colleagues such as Case Support Coordinators may speak with you.

Occupational Therapists are often called OT’s. They can advice you on how to maintain or learn new skills to live independently for as long as possible. They also provide advice regarding equipment, care technology or adaptations which can help you in your home or out and about. Occupational Therapists work for Dorset Council and NHS, however, if you would like to contact a private Occupational Therapist you can contact the College of Occupational Therapists.

Assessments - Our Adult Access Customer Services Team, or a Social worker will usually decide if you need an assessment and check your needs under the Care Act. They may ask you about your income and savings to decide what services you can receive and whether you may need to pay or contribute towards them. An assessment and advice are free. You can ask for your own assessment, or someone can ask for one on your behalf.

People who help you in your home - There are several names used to describe someone who is paid to help you in your home to remain independent such as Homecare workers, Personal Assistants, domiciliary care workers. They are usually employed by Care Agencies, which are private companies and you can pay for them to help you at home either using your own money or a mixture of money from Dorset Council if you are eligible for financial help.

AMHP (Approved Mental Health Professional) are responsible for organising, co-ordinating and contributing to Mental Health Act assessments.

Other Health NHS Professionals include:

  • Physiotherapists
  • Chiropodists
  • Vision hearing and speech therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Audiologists
  • Music Therapists
  • Oral health and nutrition specialists
  • Dentists
  • Dieticians
  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • General Practitioners (GP’s)
  • Community mental health nurses (CPN’s)
  • Nurses; District or Community Nurses, Practice nurses, Admiral Nurses
  • Continence advisors and many more.
  • Further details can be found on NHS websites.

Using the right NHS help

Stay Well In Dorset is a website to help you make the right decisions to stay healthy all year round.

Read more information about NHS 111, urgent care, emergency care and mental health.

Useful links:

Voluntary and Community Organisations

There are many organisations and groups who play an important part in many people’s lives. Sometimes, people want to get involved in their community but are not sure what is available to them. Our Directory may help you identify some activities or support groups near to you, or simply a friendly ear to listen to you. Have a look at Our Partners information where useful contacts can be found.

Where may I see professionals and people who help me?

You will probably see professionals working in a range of places, including at the hospital or local office near you. Some will be NHS health professionals, such as Doctors, or Occupational Therapists, other professionals such as Social Workers or Occupational Therapists may work for Dorset Council. They often work together to provide advice, care and support.

Sometimes it maybe necessary to visit you at home, other times a phone call will be made to you.

You may also choose to see other people from voluntary organisations or get support from peer groups.

Although it may seem confusing to meet lots of different people, it is important they are involved, as these people provide important support and can help you to live well.

For further advice contact us:

During office hours

Our telephone lines are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm.