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Northwick Park Dependency Score and Care needs Assessment (NPDS/NPCNA)

The Northwick Park Dependency Score (NPDS) provides an assessment of patient care needs. It is an ordinal scale in which the scoring levels reflect:

a) the number of carers, and

b) the time required to complete activities of daily living.

In addition, it includes safety awareness, behavioural management, and communication. There is also a version to be used in hospital (NPDS-H). 

The tool translates by way of a validated computerised algorithm into the Northwick Park Care Needs Assessment (NPCNA) which is a directly costable generic assessment of care needs in the community. This provides:

  • an approximate timetable of when care needs occur
  • an estimate of weekly care hours
  • the type and cost of care package which would normally need to be provided

The NPDS/NPDS-H/NPCNA can be used as a practical tool to inform discharge planning and ongoing evaluation of care needs once the patient is back at home.


  • The NPDS/NPCNA forms part of the mandated toolset within the UK Rehabilitation Outcomes Collaborative (UK ROC) national clinical registry for specialist rehabilitation since 2012.
  • It has been used extensively to demonstrate that rehabilitation provides value for money through savings in the ongoing costs of care (see Applications tab below for key publications).


The UK ROC software that contains the algorithm to translate the NPDS to the NPCNA (Care Needs Assessment) is built on Microsoft Excel and is freely available from the UK ROC website.


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