What is NHS Continuing Healthcare?

nurse feeding a disabled woman

NHS Continuing Healthcare

NHS Continuing Healthcare is a package of care that some people are entitled to receive as a result of disability, accident or illness. Eligible people are entitled to NHS funding for the full cost of care and accommodation.

NHS Continuing Healthcare is available to any adult living in England who has particularly intense, complex or unpredictable care needs. Unlike local authority funding, it is not means tested.

To find out if you are eligible, you must be assessed by a team of health and social care professionals who are knowledgeable about your care needs. To qualify, the team must judge that you have a primary health need rather than primarily social or personal care needs.

An unclear system

National guidance on NHS Continuing Healthcare exists – and it was updated in 2018 – but the eligibility criteria remain difficult to understand and open to interpretation. Added to this, assessors use a variety of tools to decide if the subject has a primary health need.

This lack of clarity and consistency has created an imperfect system that is poorly understood. Patients and professionals, alike, find it extremely difficult to navigate. Consequently, the process for making decisions about eligibility is frequently flawed. Some families are not even informed that NHS Continuing Healthcare could be an option for their loved one’s care.

Many of our clients tell us that the process is stressful, complex and overwhelming.

How we can help

At Beacon, we live and breathe NHS Continuing Healthcare and – for more than a decade – our experts have helped more than ten thousand people to navigate the process.

We can provide free advice and answer your questions about the process through our Information and Advice Service. Or our caseworkers can support you at any stage of the process, from being an expert advocate to attend your assessment, to help with an appeal from start to finish.

Due to a huge rise in demand for our free helpline, we have a backlog of enquiries. We are getting back to everyone as quickly as we can, but our response time for free advice is currently up to one week.

We are deeply sorry for this delay.

You can access free and comprehensive written information about the CHC process NOW, by registering here