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Personal care at university

The University cannot provide any elements of personal care so you should start making arrangements as far in advance as possible. 12 to 15 months before you plan to go to university is a good time to start making arrangements. If you have less time, don’t worry – it’s still possible to get the right support but you will need to take some proactive steps.

We need to let you know that the University can’t provide any elements of personal care. If you are assessed as requiring personal care and for any reason this can’t be provided to you, (for instance if a carer becomes ill and someone else isn’t available to provide cover), the University cannot replicate that care. In these circumstances it may be necessary for you to make other arrangements to get the support you need. This may include you leaving campus temporarily to stay with family or friends until the situation can be resolved. Based on experience up to now this is an infrequent occurrence and hopefully will not affect you, however we do need you to be aware of this and we will work with you to minimise any impact on your studies.

Personal assistants

Personal assistants are either employed by the local authority or by you through a ‘direct payment’. Personal assistants carry out the care component of the package, which may include:

  • domestic duties such as cooking, cleaning and shopping
  • personal hygiene
  • transport
  • basic medical needs such as injections

What are personal care packages?

Personal care packages are the services and equipment that local authorities provide for disabled people, including students, who need care. When a person who has a disability requires personal care, the local social services department carries out a health and social care assessment, which should focus on your individual needs. This is called an ‘Assessment of Need.’ Health and social services teams then put together a personal care package, which may include healthcare, equipment or personal assistance.

Personal care packages are reviewed after the first three months and after that annually. They are funded via a ‘personal budget’.

Who is responsible for providing personal care?

When you go to university, the responsibility to fund your personal care package rests with the local authority where you are ‘ordinarily resident.’ This means deciding where you feel more settled and where you have the strongest ties. For many students this is the local authority they are coming from. This might be because they go back home during the holidays, their parents, friends and family are based there and/or they plan to return after graduating.

However, if you move to the local authority area where the University is located and have no intention of permanently returning to your previous local authority, this may mean changing where you are ‘ordinarily resident’.

The presumption is that your personal care will be funded by the local authority you are coming from. If, however, you wish to settle in the new local authority area (perhaps you wish to stay there after graduation) you will need to contact them instead.

It can be complicated transferring between two local authorities and you may need to get in contact with Disability Rights UK and other organisations to provide you with all the information you need.

Further information

Adapted accommodation
Personal care packages: the process
‘Assessment of Need’
Care plans
Being reassessed
Personal budgets
Direct payments
Support in negotiating personal care
Study-related support
Who funds study-related support?
Additional funding
The Snowdon Award Scheme
What are my rights?

Useful contacts

Citizens Advice


Citizens Advice helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice.



Information on publicly funded services, such as Student Finance, person care assistance and benefits.

Disability Rights UK

Email: [email protected]


Get in touch

It is also a good idea to speak to the Inclusion team at Edge Hill University. It is possible that we have dealt with similar enquiries before and may be able to help.

A student with a disability and a Student Services staff member using specialist software in Catalyst.