Home » Carer’s support and needs assessment (CSNA).

Through previous engagements with carers of people with a learning disability and or mental health illness, the Patient and Client Council (PCC) was made aware that carers had a need for further support following poor outcomes from assessments. Carers are entitled to receive a Carer’s Support and Needs Assessment (CSNA). For this reason, the PCC decided to do a piece of work on people’s views and experience of the assessment. The report was shared with the Health and Social Care family in February 2017. This was a small but quality sample of views and experiences from people who have had a CSNA and provides service providers with an opportunity to develop this important area of carer support.

At what level did the PPI take place?

  • One to one;
  • Service development/delivery.

PPI helped the project to

  • Improve efficiency of a service;
  • Improve quality;
  • Inform commissioning.


Evidence identified by carers showed Carer’s Assessment did not help them and they needed support. The PCC set out to gather evidence on Carer’s experiences of this process. This concept was based on carers of people who have a learning disability and or a mental illness.

Aim of involvement

The PCC sought to understand the experiences of mental health and learning disability carers in relation to carer assessments. They wanted to gather the views of carers to establish if assessments have made a difference to their caring role. This work was to investigate whether this statutory requirement is effective in achieving what it is designed to do.

Method(s) of Involvement


  • Accessing relevant participants, who were people looking after those with a learning disability and or mental illness;
  • Accessing carers due to their ongoing caring commitments;
  • Time consuming traveling to venues across Northern Ireland that suited participants (mainly their homes), which required a minimum of two staff and transcribing one to one interviews.

Outcomes due to involvement

The PCC produced a summary report which was presented to the Department of Health and other key Health and Social Care bodies on the experiences of these carers in relation to carer assessments. It offers service providers an opportunity to develop this important area of carer support. The findings were followed up with HSC stakeholders in August 2017, to ask if they have acted on the recommendations.



June 2016 – February 2017.

Further Information

Contact details:
Nigel Warburton (Project Co-Ordinator, Patient and Client Council)
Email: nigel.warburton@hscni.net
Telephone number: 0778 955 4083
Web: Final report