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What is NHS Continuing Healthcare?

Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43

Here is a brief introduction to NHS Continuing Healthcare which is one of the themes covered in my book on elderly law. 

Where a person’s primary need is a ‘health need’, the NHS is regarded as responsible for providing for and fully funding all their needs in any setting, this could be in: A hospice; A care home, or your own home, a care home or hospice.

In England, the NHS can arrange care for you or you can choose to receive funding for your care as a direct payment, known as a personal health budget. A personal health budget gives you more choice and control over how you plan and pay for your healthcare and wellbeing needs. Personal health budgets are not currently available in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Who is eligible?

There’s no clear-cut list of health conditions or illnesses that qualify for funding. Most people with long-term care needs don’t qualify for NHS continuing healthcare or NHS continuing care because the assessment is quite strict. Being frail, for example, is not enough.

What are eligible health needs?

As a guide, ‘eligible’ health needs might include: ·         Mobility problems ·         Terminal illnesses ·         Rapidly deteriorating health ·         Long-term medical conditions ·         Physical or mental disabilities ·         Behavioural or cognitive disorders ·         Complex medical conditions that need additional care and support  There are plenty of grey areas and you might have other conditions that mean you qualify. You might know people in similar circumstances who’ve been turned down. But the only sure way to know if you’re eligible is to ask your GP or social worker to arrange an assessment.

What costs are covered?

NHS continuing healthcare or continuing care covers personal care and healthcare costs, such as paying for specialist therapy or help with bathing or dressing. It might also include accommodation if your care is provided in a care home, or support for carers if you’re being looked after at home. If you do not qualify for NHS continuing care and you need care in a nursing home you might get NHS funded nursing care which is a non-means tested contribution towards your nursing costs. Funding varies by region, so you will need to check with your local Clinical Commissioning Group, Health Board or Health and Social Care Trust to see what’s covered.