The National Audit Office has announced that it will be conducting an investigation into continuing healthcare.
This latest review will be of interest to NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups who have primary responsibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. NHS CHC is funded by the NHS and is not means tested; unlike social care support provided by local authorities for which a financial charge may be made to individuals, depending on their income and savings.
To qualify for NHS CHC funding individuals have to be assessed by CCGs according to a “legally prescribed decision making process” and under pinned by the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care to determine whether the individual has a ‘primary health need’. Typically NHS CHC provision might take the form of a care home placement or a package of care in the individual's own home or elsewhere. If an individual is eligible for care in their home this might include services from a community nurse or specialist therapist and associated social care needs such as personal care and domestic tasks. In a care home, the NHS pays for care home fees, including board and accommodation.
NAO’s investigation scheduled for Summer 2017
The investigation will set out the facts relating to NHS CHC in terms of :
- Who is eligible
- The number of people applying
- What the processes are and how long they take
- The financial costs to the NHS
- Equity of access
NHS CHC is widely acknowledged as a complex area - CCGs, local authorities and practitioners alike will be keen to hear the outcome of this review. In the meantime, do get in touch if you have any NHS CHC questions – we have an experienced and friendly team at hand.