What is NHS continuing healthcare?
NHS continuing healthcare funding (CHC) is granted to those who have ongoing health conditions or care needs that require complex support or palliative care. It is a package of continuing care at home that is fully funded by the NHS and can be applied on a permanent basis or an unspecified, but typically short, period of time.
Am I eligible for continuing healthcare?
In order to qualify, the primary need for receiving care must relate directly to health. The NHS describes this as a “primary health need”.
To find out if you qualify for continuing healthcare, individual needs must be assessed. You can ask for an assessment by contacting your local clinical commissioning group (CCG) directly or getting in touch with your GP. The CCG groups are responsible for the provision of NHS services in England and hold the budget for continuing healthcare funding. Individual needs will be initially assessed by your GP, nurse or social worker. Depending on the outcome, you will then either be referred for a full assessment or informed that you’re not eligible.
It is important to note that you will be assessed on your care needs specifically, not any particular diagnosis or health condition.
What happens during a full continuing healthcare assessment?
Following a screening process, a full Continuing Healthcare assessment will be carried out by a team of healthcare professionals to determine whether a person is eligible for funding. They will look at:
- The type of help you need
- How complex and intense your needs are
- How much risk is involved i.e. if you don’t receive the appropriate help
You should always be fully involved with the assessment process so that your views and wishes can be taken into account.
An assessment should always be undertaken with at least two healthcare professionals that are already involved in your care. They will assess a variety of different needs including cognition, medication, mobility, breathing and nutrition, and then marked as either ‘priority, ‘severe’, ‘high’, ‘moderate’, ‘low’, or ‘no needs’.
The agreed recommendation is then presented to the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) for approval.
Once approved, the continuing healthcare team at the CCG can arrange a package of care with individual wishes in mind. Alternatively, a fast-track continuing healthcare assessment and packages can be implemented where an individual’s condition is deteriorating rapidly and they need end of life care at home.
We regularly work with continuing healthcare teams and families who require both long-term complex care and palliative care. Our capability to form strong partnerships and respond with speed and professionalism gives confidence to our customers and the teams managing their cases.
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