About the Support Tool
NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is when someone with complex long-term health needs qualifies for social care arranged and funded solely by the NHS. Continuing healthcare can be provided in a variety of settings, but with Helping Hands you have the advantage of your continuing healthcare being provided in your own home, rather than having to move into a care home to receive it.
The Decision Support Tool is a multi-part assessment that will look at every aspect of your care needs, and the initial part will be undertaken by a doctor, nurse, social worker or other healthcare professional. If it’s decided that you may be eligible for Continuing Healthcare funding then you will be referred for a more detailed assessment.
What Is It?
The first part of the Decision Support Tool is the Continuing Healthcare Checklist, that will be undertaken by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals and it will be used to assess your eligibility for continuing funding. The professionals who undertake the assessment should ideally be people already involved in your care. According to the Department for Health and Social Care, the checklist tool “is a way of bringing together information from the assessment of needs and applying evidence in a single practical format”.
How Does It Work?
The checklist works by assessing you against a pre-set criteria to discover the help you need, how complex and intense your needs are and also how unpredictable they can be, including any risks to your health if the right care is not provided at the right time. If appropriate, family members and carers should also be involved in the assessment and consulted regarding your ongoing needs. The process is not a one-off; your care should be monitored by the community healthcare team so that as your needs change, your care can change accordingly.
What Are the Criteria for The Tool?
According to the NHS website, “full assessments for NHS continuing healthcare are undertaken by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) made up of a minimum of 2 professionals from different healthcare professions.” Your needs will be assessed under twelve different headings; ‘skin (including wounds and ulcers), mobility, communication, psychological and emotional needs, cognition (understanding), behaviour, drug therapies and medicine, breathing, nutrition (food and drink), continence, altered states of consciousness and ‘other significant care needs’.
How Does it Help Determine CHC Eligibility?
During the assessment, written notes are taken and a score is allocated to each section of the list, weighted as “priority”, “severe”, “high”, “moderate”, “low” or “no needs”. Different score combinations determine whether you have high enough needs to qualify for Continuing Healthcare funding; for instance, if one section is listed as ‘priority’ then you will usually be eligible for CHC funding. This will also be the case if you have at least two areas considered ‘severe’, or one ‘severe’ plus a high number of moderate needs. This isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach though, each person’s needs will be taken into account on an individualised basis and risk assessments will be evidenced.
What Happens After the Tool Has Been Completed?
Once the tool has been completed and a decision made, you should be given a copy of the decision paperwork, and also told why the decision has been arrived at. If you’re not eligible for Continuing Healthcare funding, the NHS says, “you can be referred to your local council who can discuss with you whether you may be eligible for support from them.” Alternatively, the NHS may pay for part of your care package, which is referred to as a ‘joint package’ of care.
What happens if you’re nearing the end of your life?
If you’re nearing the end of your life, then it’s obviously crucial that a package of care is put in place as quickly as possible. There is a fast-track pathway in place for people who need the Continuing Healthcare assessment process to proceed rapidly, meaning that a care and support package can be put into place within 48 hours usually.
Arranging Care with Helping Hands
Because we’ve been deliveringing care at home for people in their own homes since 1989, we are in the best position to be able to support a variety of conditions, whether you’re in the early stages of your care pathway or near the end of your life. We understand why you want to be cared for at home and we do all we can to ensure that you live your best life possible in the home you love, from our amazing carers to our dedicated managers and support staff.
After all, our mission is “Our care makes it possible for you to live safely at home” and we do all we can to live by that, every single day. Even if our carers are experienced when they join us, we still train them to our standards to ensure that every customer gets a consistent standard of care, and because we’re fully regulated by the Care Quality Commission and Care Inspectorate Wales, you and your loved ones can be confident that we’ll maintain our high standards always.
Page reviewed by Carole Kerton-Church, Regional Clinical Lead on November 23, 2021