Should you or your loved one have to pay for long term or end of life care?
Has anybody told you or have you read about NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC)?
What is NHS Continuing Healthcare?
NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is not a legally defined benefit in its own right but in essence it’s simply an extension of NHS funded care outside of hospital into a non-NHS community setting, whether that be in a care home or the persons own home. It covers all the costs associated with providing care to an individual with on-going heathcare needs. It can also be claimed retrospectively but this is limited to care provided from April 2012 onwards. The National Framework for CHC (revised 2022) can be found in the download section together with the documents used to assess applicants.
Few have heard of CHC and for many thousands of people it means using their life savings and property to meet the cost of care when, in many cases, they shouldn't have to.
If you or your loved one has (or had) a physical or mental health condition, whether gained through illness, injury or disability you may be eligible for CHC.
How does somebody qualify for CHC?
If you have ongoing physical or mental health needs outside of hospital you can apply for CHC by asking your GP, care home or social services to complete what’s known as a ‘Checklist’. Essentially this is a low level screen of health needs which, if passed, leads to a full assessment using a document called the ‘Decision Support Tool’ (DST). If you pass this, then you become eligible for CHC.
How easy is it to qualify for CHC?
Unless the individual has extreme healthcare needs, qualifying for CHC is much harder than it ought to be and that’s because NHS assessors will often attempt to portray needs as a social care issue which is means tested. This is why you could benefit from professional advice and assistance to make sure this complex process is conducted correctly and in full compliance with the Framework, otherwise you or your loved one may find themselves paying for care when the facts indicate the NHS should be.