Social Services Q&A

Our Social Services colleagues have kindly put together the following information on how to access their services.  Please be aware that we host this on their behalf to help our patients access support and assistance.  This may not be the most up-to-date information available.

The Arran Social Work Team is based at the Council Offices, Lamlash, 01770 600742. We are a generic team and deal with all matters from service access to children and families and adults and older people.



The team consists of a manager, two full time and one part time social workers and two full time social work assistants along with a family support worker and two part time adult outreach workers. We also share an office with the Care at Home manager and Occupational Therapists.



Referrals are dealt with via a duty system and a duty worker will assist if a referral is for something like Apetito meals, community alarm, general advice or the duty worker will pass on the referral for allocation if an assessment is required. We prioritise any individual deemed at risk and seek to provide responses in timescales proportionate to need.




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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What do I do if I am worried about someone during the night or at the weekend?

We have an ‘out of hours’ team who will deal with emergencies (child protection issues, homelessness, mental health assessment, community care etc) which occur outside normal working hours.

North Ayrshire Council ‘Out of Hours’  Tel: 0800 328 7758

How can I get help for myself and/or the person I care for?

Firstly, contact Arran local office by phone on: 01770 600742. A worker will then talk through your needs with you and the options to meet these needs.

What would be my options and what services are currently available on Arran?

This would depend on your needs and perhaps your age group. For older adults it may be appropriate you receive Care at Home, Meals at Home (Apetito), Stronach Daycare, Support Worker (if appropriate), Lunch Club, Befriending, or family support. For children and families we have a family care worker supporting individual families following a social work assessment. We also link in with health colleagues such as the Community Nurses and Community Psychiatric nurses, physio’s, the hospital etc.

Who would provide a service I need?

Under the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013, people using services now have four options. The four options are:

  • Option 1: A direct payment
  • Option 2: Directing the available support
  • Option 3: Services arranged for the person by the authority – this is where the authority arranges any services on the person’s behalf.
  • Option 4: A mix of the first 3 options for different aspects of the person’s support.

(Scottish Government, 2014)

There is more information on services and self-directed support on North Ayrshire Council’s award winning Carena website:

Scottish Government Self-Directed Support Scotland Guidance

Self-Directed Support Scotland

Would I be means tested? What about my savings and property? Would these services cost me money?

The Scottish Government provides free personal care for everyone aged 65 and over in Scotland who have been assessed by the local authority as needing it. Free nursing care is also available for people of any age who have been assessed as requiring nursing care services.

As part of your assessment it would be recommended you allow a financial assessment to be undertaken by North Ayrshire Council’s Money Matters team.

‘A financial assessment is carried out to ensure that charges for social care services are accurate and based on ability to pay. A financial assessment enables service users and their spouse / partner to have a benefits check and assistance to claim the benefits and allowances they are entitled to.

Service users can choose not to undergo a financial assessment and, in this situation, should be advised that the full cost of non-personal care service up to a maximum charge set by the Council each year will apply. Failure to supply accurate financial information will also result in the full charge being applied (the maximum charge for services is £75 per week).’ (North Ayrshire Council, 2015)

North Ayrshire Council’s Money Matters Team Tel: 01294 310456

What are direct payments? How do I access direct payments?

Under a direct payment the supported person receives a sum of money into a bank account. The supported person, either on their own or with support, can then purchase the support that they wish in order to meet their personal outcomes. (Scottish Government, 2014)

So if I access direct payments I am responsible for employing staff privately to meet my needs? What about employer responsibilities such as taxation, insurance, holiday entitlement etc?

North Ayrshire Council will ensure you are provided with the relevant local guidance or procedures work to assist you in using direct payments. Third party organisations such as Ayrshire Independent Living Network (AILN) are often used for payroll and budget management duties. AILN are a user-led organisation with substantial experience in organising self-directed support.

Ayrshire Independent Living Network (AILN)  Tel: 01294 475685

I just need someone to take me shopping/do my cleaning. Can someone help me?

Unfortunately we don’t provide shopping or cleaning as a service.

I am very lonely. Is there a befriender on Arran?

The Salvation Army has a befriending service available on Arran. There is a small pool of volunteers who you could potentially be matched with.


I’m in debt. When/where is the Citizen’s Advice Bureau available on Arran?

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is available on one morning a week at the Ormidale Pavilion in Brodick – on Mondays at 9.30am to 1pm.

Citizen’s Advice Bureau Tel: 01770 302710

Children & Families

I am worried about a child who lives near me. What do I do? Can I talk to someone in confidence?

It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure children are safe, and you can help by sharing your concerns. We will not disclose your identity unless you give us your permission to do so. If we feel there are concerns about a child we will investigate.

I am really struggling with my children. What help can I get?

Wherever possible we try to support children to thrive in their family home and community. We have a family care worker who can offer individual support. She also supports the PEEP programme which gives parents confidence with their children and peer support. The school also has a home link worker and health visitors are also available. For more details of PEEP speak to the health worker or duty social worker. The family care worker only supports individual families following a social work assessment.

PEEP in Scotland

Additionally, if you are in receipt of certain benefits and your child is aged two you may be entitled to 600 hours of free early learning and childcare per year.

For further information on free early learning and childcare contact: 0845 351 3000 or email:

Adult Protection

I am worried about an adult who lives near me. What do I do? Can I talk to someone in confidence?

Adult safety is also everyone’s responsibility. We all want to live in a caring community, and harm can happen in the family home, hospital ward, care home, social club, at work, or in any public place.

Also, do not always assume someone is known to services, if you have any concerns you can contact any health or social care practitioner as well as the police.

Community Care and Older Adults

I am an older adult and would like to stay at home for as long as possible. What help is available?

Following an assessment of your care needs, assessed services such as Care at Home, Meals at Home (Apetito), Stronach Daycare, Support Worker (if appropriate), Lunch Club, Befriending and family support.

Only then, if this broke down, would permanent care be considered the best way to ensure someone’s safety and well-being.

How would I put my name/a relative’s name down for the new Montrose House on Arran?

Unfortunately you cannot put someone’s name down for Montrose House. Following an assessment of your care needs where residential care is recommended, Montrose House would be noted as the preference. It may be that an interim care home placement will have to be considered until Montrose House becomes available.

I am moving to Arran with an older adult parent. What help is available?

Social work has a duty to assess your parent’s care needs. Even so, before moving it may be worth considering the effects of such a move on an older person and the challenges created by rural life (e.g. potential loneliness; no reference points/shared experiences with others; travel; reduced access to services).

I need transport to hospital. How do I get there?

Transport to hospital can be provided by Patient Transport, Arcas if the appointment is cancer-related and Red Cross for all other appointments.

My parent/or myself is just leaving hospital. How do I get help?

Prior to leaving hospital you should be assessed by medical staff and contact will be made to ensure Homecare is allocated.

My neighbour’s home carer has not turned up. What do I do?

There is a personal record of care in the home of everyone who receives Homecare services. In this folder you will find contact numbers, and you should contact the Homecare Manager.

How do I get meals on wheels/Apetito meals?

You can access meals services by contacting Arran social services who on receipt of the referral would carry out an assessment.

North Ayrshire Council Meals Services

How do I get a community alarm?

You can self-refer if you are over 75 years old by contacting Arran social services who on receipt of the referral would carry out an assessment. If you are under 75 years old contact Arran social services.

My mum has dementia. What specific services are available on Arran?

North Ayrshire Council’s dementia support service hold a memory cafe on Arran on the second Wednesday of the month from 11am – 2pm and there will soon be a full-time dementia support worker on the island.

If you or someone you care for has a diagnosis of dementia you can call 01294 602720 or email

I am struggling with getting in and out of the bath/use of the toilet. What should I do?

Contact Arran Social Services and request an occupational therapy (OT) assessment.

I need a wheelchair for short-term use. What do I do?

Contact Alison Bilsland for details on: 01770 303505

I have my mother on holiday with me and she normally walks with a zimmer frame. Can I borrow one?

No. There is nowhere you can rent this type of equipment on Arran. We would advise you bring any equipment you require with you.

I think I need some sort of walking aid. Can you help?

Contact Arran War Memorial Hospital and ask to speak to physiotherapy.

Tel: 01770 600777.

I can’t put my wheelie bin out, can someone help?

North Ayrshire Council on Arran have a refuse ‘pull-out’ service.

Telephone the Council Offices, Lamlash on 01770 600338 and/or collect an application form from the Council Offices. A cleansing officer will then conduct a visit to assess your eligibility.

I can’t cut my grass anymore, can someone help?

North Ayrshire Council on Arran have a Grass Cutting Scheme for people aged 75 and over, people aged 65 and over and in receipt of Attendance Allowance (high rate) or free personal care, and for people aged under 65 in receipt of DLA (high rate care or mobility).

This scheme costs £61 per year and is allocated on a first come, first served basis at the beginning of every year. For further information contact the Council Offices, Lamlash on 01770 600338.

If I go into a care home, will the council take my house?

All councils are legally required to assess the amount a person is able to contribute towards their care fees. North Ayrshire Council applies the Scottish Government’s Guidance for Charging for Residential Accommodation. This lengthy and comprehensive document is updated by the Scottish Government annually and is underpinned by the National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992. It is available to the public and can be found by accessing the following website link:

Thanks to Neil Doherty for compiling this information.  Last updated March 2015.