Factsheet: Health & Social Care Adult Services

This factsheet is available in a downloadable PDF here. 

Table of Contents

Social Care Direct
Assessing a Persons Needs – Community Care Assessments
Emergency Social Services
Care in your own Home
Occupational Therapy
Protecting Vulnerable Adults from Abuse
Residential Care
Shortbreaks (Respite)
Supported Accommodation


This Factsheet provides some basic information on the different adult mental health related services provided by the City of Edinburgh Council Health & Social Care Department including information on the different workers and health professionals you may come across.

Social Care Direct

If you think you or someone you know needs help, your first point of contact should be Social Care Direct.

Social Care Directstaff are fully trained to help you. Your enquiry will be listened to and dealt with as efficiently as possible.

Depending on the nature of your query, Social Care Direct staff will give you details of the best place to get the help you need or pass on information about any difficulties you may be having to your local social work office for an assessment of need.

With your permission, other people can ask for help on your behalf – this might be a relative or a friend. It might also be a professional who knows you well; for example, your GP, district nurse or housing officer. It will be helpful if the person contacting us can give us as much information as possible about why you may require our services.

You can contact Social Care Direct at:

Phone: 0131 200 2324
[email protected]

The opening hours for Social Care Direct are:
08.30 – 5.00 Monday to Thursday
08.30 – 3.40 Friday

Outside of these hours and on public holidays, the Emergency Social Work Service can be contacted on 0800 731 6969.

Assessing a Persons Needs – Community Care Assessments

A range of services are available to help people to live as independently and as pleasantly as possible in their own homes. Priority is given to those who live alone and whose physical safety and wellbeing may be at risk. Support is also available for carers – the family or friends who are looking after someone. If you think that you need this type of help, then you should ask for a community care assessment.

The assessment involves someone talking with you and perhaps a family member or someone talking on your behalf, to begin to identify and understand your needs so that the services best suited to you can be provided. You may be asked about your lifestyle, your hopes and concerns for your future, and how you manage certain daily living task. If you agree, your GP or other professional staff may also be contacted.

If your needs are straightforward, services will be arranged as soon as possible. If they are more complex, then a plan for your care will be made in discussion with you and other relevant people and you will be told which member of staff will be responsible for managing and co-ordinating your care.

Contact Social Care Direct for more information on requesting a Community Care Assessment.

Emergency Social Services

The Emergency Social Work Service (ESWS) provides an emergency social work service out of hours in situations that cannot wait until Social Care Direct and offices reopen.  

The Emergency Social Work Service
Tel: 0800 731 6969 (Freephone)
Tel: 0131 554 4301

The ESWS operates from 4.45pm – 8.45am Monday – Thursday and from 3.45pm Friday – 8.45am Monday. During public holidays the service is open 24 hours.

Care in your own Home

The Home Care Services is one of a range of services providing care in the community to assist you, your relatives and carers. Home carers can help with most things which a caring relative might do. They will not take over these tasks if you already have satisfactory arrangements.

Help is generally available between 7am – 10pm every day for those who need such help. We try to make sure that people with the greatest need and the least help from families and friends have priority at all times.

There is a charge for the Home Care Service based on your income.

If you do not get home care and support provision but would like to have your needs assessed, please contact Social Care Direct.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is about helping disabled people of all ages to be as independent as possible in their everyday lives. If your daily life is affected by disability, we start by carrying out an assessment of your ability to carry out everyday tasks in your own home.

At the same time, if you have a carer, we assess their needs and their ability to help you. We then make recommendations.

How do I apply for help?

You will need to contact Social Care Direct on 0131 200 2324 or [email protected] to ask for advice or request an assessment.

Protecting Vulnerable Adults from Abuse

You are a vulnerable adult if you are 16 or older and are unable to protect yourself from abuse, exploitation or neglect due to a disability, illness or frailty.

What to do?

If you are worried that you or someone you know may be abused it is important to tell someone. Even if the abuse occurred many years ago it is still important to report it. The person being abused may not be able to report it themselves.

Contact your local social work service, health professional or the police who will take your concerns very seriously and work with you and others to make sure that everyone is safe.

What happens next?

Staff from the Health and Social Care Department, and often the police, will decide what to do. They will work with you and your family, if appropriate, and as far as possible consider your wishes when deciding what to do.

Who to contact:

Social Care Direct – 0131 200 2324

Emergency Social Services – 0800 731 6969

Family Protection Unit (Police) – 0131 662 5773 (St Leonard’s police station)

Residential Care

There are a number of care homes in Edinburgh. The City of Edinburgh Council runs some of these homes. Others are run by voluntary bodies, for example, churches and charities or privately by individual owners or commercial companies. The majority of homes, which provide on-site nursing, are run privately.

All care homes are registered with the Healthcare Improvement Scotland. This body regularly inspects the homes and has powers to make sure that care and other conditions reach specified standards.

Care homes are registered according to the type of care they will provide.

Individual care homes vary in size, layout and location, and in the type of care they offer. It is important to find out as much as possible about individual homes. You can find out more by:

  • Contacting any home direct – most homes have an information leaflet, and you can also ask to visit (It is also strongly advised that you ask to see a copy of the current Registration and Inspection report, which is held by each home)
  • Contacting Social Care Direct for information and advice
  • Talking to hospital social work staff
  • Talking about your future plans with other professionals who know you well, for example, your district nurse or GP

Shortbreaks (Respite)

The Short Breaks Team provide Edinburgh-wide, flexible, person-centred short break services to adults with learning disabilities and older people. The services provide breaks ranging from a few hours to a few weeks, tailored to meet the needs of the individual and allowing breaks for family carers.

Breaking New Ground, a major consultation on the development of short breaks in Edinburgh, identified the need for flexible, individualised, affordable short breaks which would be available when and where they were required. The Short Breaks Team provides such breaks for those who need them. 

Short Breaks Team 

Address: Building 4, 5-7 Regent Road, Edinburgh EH7 5BL
Tel: 0131 525 8040
Fax: 0131 558 7391

Supported Accommodation

The Adult Resource Teams are a group of different teams providing Community Care for vulnerable adults who are living in the City of Edinburgh. The services have been designed for specific client groups including:

  • If you have a mental health problem and have been in the revolving door of hospital, insecure accommodation and homelessness or are finding it difficult to manage in your own tenancy.

You will be assessed to determine your needs. This process can be lengthy, but the teams aim is to identify your needs and develop the best possible plan to meet them.

To be able to access the services offered by the Adult Resource Team for supported accommodation you must be referred by one of the following services:

  • Community Care and Hospital Social Work Practice Teams
  • The Access Point
  • Emergency Homeless Hostels
  • Community Psychiatric Services.

You will then require a CARENAP Assessment in order to determine your support needs, and a Financial Assessment to determine your entitlement to Supporting People Funding or level of contribution to your housing support service if your income/capital is above the threshold.

You will then be allocated a Support Worker who will meet with you on a regular basis and work with you on the tasks and issues as identified within a mutually agreed support plan. The support plan is subject to review annually, as a minimum standard, or at shorter intervals as necessary.

The services operate to Departmental Policies, Procedures and Guidelines to ensure a quality service to all clients. In line with this you are actively involved throughout and have access to Complaints Procedures should you wish to raise any issues in relation to the service you are receiving.

You can find out more details about the above services through visiting City of Edinburgh Council website or contacting Social Care Direct 0131 200 2324.

External websites related to Health & Social Care Adult Services

These web sites may be useful. Please note that we are not responsible for external sites; if you find any broken links or inappropriate content please report it to the site administrators using the feedback page.

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