Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is free care that is arranged and funded by the NHS, for adults with long-term complex health needs. NHS Continuing Healthcare is available in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Older patients discharging from hospital should be assessed for NHS Continuing Healthcare before being discharged from hospital.
NHS Continuing Healthcare can be provided in your own home, where the NHS will pay for nursing and personal care, or in a care home, whereby the NHS will pay the care home fees.
Assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare
An initial assessment will be completed by a nurse, doctor, other healthcare professional or social worker.
Depending on the outcome of the assessment, you’ll either be told that you don’t meet the criteria for a full assessment of NHS continuing healthcare and are therefore not eligible, or you’ll be referred for a full assessment of eligibility.
To see whether you qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare, a healthcare team will assess the:
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- complexity of your needs
- intensity or severity of your needs
- extent to which your needs may be unpredictable, and any potential effects on your health
The team’s assessment will consider your needs under the following headings:
- nutrition (food and drink)
- skin (including wounds and ulcers)
- psychological and emotional needs
- cognition (understanding)
- drug therapies and medication
- altered states of consciousness
- other significant care needs
NHS Continuing Healthcare reviews
If you are eligible for and begin an NHS Healthcare package, this should be reviewed within the first three months and at least every year after this.
This is to check whether the package of care agreed still meets your needs, or if changes are needed.
Who qualifies for NHS Continuing Healthcare?
To be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, you must be an adult and be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals as having long-term complex health needs.
Does NHS Continuing Healthcare cover care given in a care home and within your own home?
NHS continuing healthcare can be provided in a variety of settings, such as in your own home or in a care home.
Can I pay top-up fees for NHS Continuing Healthcare?
No, unlike with Local Authority funding, you can’t pay top-up fees for NHS Continuing Healthcare packages.
How do I arrange NHS Continuing Healthcare?
In the first instance, approach your doctor or social worker (or medical team, if you are in hospital) if you think you might be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare.
What can I do if I’m not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare?
If your assessment doesn’t qualify you for NHS Continuing Healthcare but does assess you as needing a registered nurse, you may be eligible for NHS-funded Nursing Care. This is when the NHS pays for the nursing care component of nursing home fees.
Depending on your financial circumstances and where you live within the UK, you may also qualify for local authority funding towards the cost of care.
Questions about funding care?
Care Sourcer’s friendly care experts are on hand to provide guidance on typical care costs, help you explore your funding and benefit options, or even negotiate care fees on your behalf.
Call us on freephone: 0800 098 8299 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
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