What is NHS Continuing Healthcare and who is it for?
NHS Continuing Healthcare is a name given to a package of care which is arranged by the NHS for individuals outside of hospital who have ongoing health needs due to disability, illness or injury.
NHS Continuing Healthcare is provided to both children and adults, it is not dependent on having a particular diagnosis, disease or condition, nor where care is provided or who provides it.
How is NHS Continuing Healthcare accessed?
NHS Continuing Healthcare is accessed when a health or social care professional feels an individual may be eligible. A Checklist Tool must then be completed by the professional in order to work out whether the individual's need is possibly of a level or type which would make the individual entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare.
Following this initial assessment, a team of professionals – which could include your GP, District Nurse, Social Worker or Nursing Home Manager, or if the individual is in hospital, hospital doctors and nurses – carry out a detailed assessment which is coordinated by a Continuing Healthcare Nurse.
This information is then input into the Decision Support Tool, which is part of a National Framework to ensure that decisions are made fairly and consistently across the country.
Following this, a decision will be made about whether the individual is eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare to be funded and provided by the NHS.
In the first instance you should contact a health professional involved with the individual's care.
What if I do not agree with the assessments?
If you do not agree with either the Checklist Tool (initial) or the Decision Support Tool (full) assessment, then you can ask for the PCT (NHS West Sussex) to reconsider the decision. You may also ask for an independent review of the case in certain circumstances via referral to the local Strategic Health Authority (SHA).
Where is NHS Continuing Healthcare provided?
NHS Continuing Healthcare is not provided in any one place. It could be in the patient's home, in residential or nursing care homes.
How does the system work in a nursing or residential care home?
When the patient is not eligible for Continuing Healthcare but is living in a care home registered to provide nursing care and the individual is assessed to require the service of a registered nurse, then you could receive NHS-Funded Care.
In this instance the NHS makes a direct payment to the care home. This payment is a nationally set amount, currently (for 2010/11) £108.70 per week.