What is Continuing Healthcare?
NHS Continuing Healthcare is the name given to a package of care which is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for individuals outside of hospital who have ongoing health care needs.
You can receive NHS Continuing Healthcare in any setting, including your own home or in a care home. NHS Continuing Healthcare is free, unlike support provided by local authorities for which a financial charge may be made depending on your income and savings.
A review of NHS Continuing Healthcare is undertaken by a multidisciplinary team at three months and then yearly, and a recommendation is made by the multidisciplinary team as to whether a patient meets the criteria for NHS Continuing Healthcare.
Who is eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare?
Anyone assessed as requiring a certain level of care need, can get NHS continuing healthcare. It is not dependent on a particular disease, diagnosis or condition, or on who provides the care or where that care is provided. The circumstances can include:
- Older people with chronic illness or disabilities
- Older people suffering from mental illness or dementia
- People suffering from mental illness
- Physically disabled adults
- People with learning disabilities
- People who are terminally ill
If your overall care needs show that your primary need is a health one, you should qualify for continuing healthcare. The primary health needs should be assessed by looking at all your care needs and relating them to four key indicators.
- Nature – the type of condition or treatment required (quality and quantity)
- Complexity – symptoms that interact, therefore difficult to manage or control
- Intensity – one or more health needs, so severe they require regular intervention
- Unpredictability- unexpected changes in condition that are difficult to manage and present a risk to you or others.
Personal Health Budgets
Some people who are eligible for CHC choose to have a personal health budget so they can organise and manage their care themselves. Read more about PHBs here
What if I am not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare?
If you do not qualify for NHS continuing healthcare then you may have to pay for some or all of your care, although the NHS will still provide for your medical needs. You may have to take a local authority means test to decide how much you should pay towards your personal care and accommodation if you are in a care home.
How do I appeal against a decision?
If following assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare you remain unsatisfied with the outcome you can contact the CHC team to contest the decision.
Getting in touch:
You can phone the CHC team on 01642 745000
Complaints information can be found here
Further information – click or tap the words in colour to access the documents you would like to read
Department of Health guidance can be consulted for a fuller account of the rules and duties of NHS bodies to provide NHS continuing healthcare.
National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care: October 2018 (Revised) (published in March 2018): This is the version of the National Framework which will be in operation from October 2018.