Beacon overturns policy that left families unable to fight for funding

Posted on: June 17th, 2022 by JS

Earlier this year, we were alerted to a situation faced by two families who had contacted us for advice. Both callers – who were under the jurisdiction of the same Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – had loved ones who had been turned down for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding. Both wished to challenge the decision, but had been blocked from appealing because they did not hold a lasting power of attorney (LPA) for Health and Welfare. We knew this wasn’t right. Principles set out in the CHC guidelines, to which every Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in …read more

An important change to Independent Review timescales – don’t miss the new deadline for submitting evidence

Posted on: October 14th, 2019 by JS
close up of hands writing with a pen

Beacon has learned that NHS England has implemented a new procedure on timescales for Independent Review. Independent Review is the second stage of appeal for CHC eligibility decisions – the first being Local Resolution. The new rules came into effect nationally on 1 October, though they’ve been piloted in a few areas already. The change in procedure cuts the period during which all written evidence to be considered in the review can be submitted. We’re concerned that it will impact families’ ability to prepare thoroughly for this stage of the appeal process. What’s changed? If you …read more

Reviews and re-assessments. Often unfair and unnecessary, but is there hope ahead?

Posted on: March 7th, 2019 by JS
Elderly woman waiting

News broke yesterday that the work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, is scrapping repeat assessments of disabled pensioners who receive personal independence payments (PIPs). In her speech, Ms Rudd said “Disabled pensioners have paid into our system for their whole lives and deserve the full support of the state when they need it most.” The news led us to reflect on a similar situation in the Continuing Healthcare (CHC) system. Once eligibility for CHC is agreed, the care needs of the individual are reviewed after three months and then annually through the course of their eligibility. …read more

What’s changed? Our commentary on the 2018 update to the National Framework

Posted on: March 7th, 2018 by JS

On 1 March 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care published revisions to the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and NHS-funded Nursing Care. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have until October 2018 to adopt the new rules. As the leading independent experts in NHS CHC, here we provide commentary on the key updates to the Framework: The Framework has been updated to reflect the implementation of the Care Act 2014. As such, it makes clear that the eligibility criteria must be applied to everyone equally, regardless of where they receive their care. This removes the …read more

Should you appeal a Continuing Healthcare decision? Our expert guide.

Posted on: January 15th, 2018 by JS

In this article we outline the grounds on which you can appeal a decision about eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. This may help you to decide whether to launch a challenge.  Every year, thousands of people are assessed for NHS funding for long term care, called NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC). According to the National Audit Office, around two-thirds of assessments conclude that the person is not eligible for funding. This can be a huge blow to patients and their families, and often comes at a time in life that is already very difficult. We know, …read more

Public Accounts Committee investigation into NHS Continuing Healthcare. Our summary of the oral evidence.

Posted on: November 20th, 2017 by JS

On Wednesday 1 November, the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee met to hear evidence on NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC). This followed the publication of an investigation by the National Audit Office in July 2017, which echoed the Continuing Healthcare Alliance in raising significant concerns about the system. Beacon’s Managing Director, Dan Harbour, was invited to join a panel of witnesses to give expert evidence to the Committee. The other members of the first panel represented the Spinal Injuries Association, Continuing Healthcare Alliance and Sue Ryder Hospices. Their evidence catalogued a number of key issues with …read more

681 frustrating days that we hope will improve the system.

Posted on: June 9th, 2017 by JS

When Allan* tried to appeal for retrospective care funding for his mother, he came up against a communication ‘brick wall’. Over two years, our expert caseworker worked with Allan to try and resolve the issues, culminating in a formal complaint to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which was upheld. Allan’s mother had been assessed as not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding for two years between 2010 and 2012, before being assessed as eligible in March 2012. Allan had done his research and felt that the decision in 2010 had been wrong, so he employed …read more

A flawed NHS continuing healthcare assessment with severe consequences, and how it was put right

Posted on: November 15th, 2016 by Tim Saunders

Yesterday The Continuing Healthcare Alliance published a report that highlighted the weaknesses in the NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) system, and called for improvements. The report flagged several problems, including with the assessment process. This process was clearly flawed in a case that came through our free Information and Advice Service recently… Sarah’s elderly father, Eric, has challenging health and psychological problems and requires extensive one-to-one support. Despite this, a panel concluded he wasn’t eligible for NHS CHC funding, and Eric was threatened with eviction from his care home. But experts on our free information and advice service spotted problems with the …read more

Christine was not informed when her ailing mother’s continuing healthcare funding was withdrawn, and was shocked when she received a bill many months later.

Posted on: September 30th, 2016 by Tim Saunders

With free guidance from our Information and Advice Line team, Christine highlighted the flaws in management of her mother’s assessment and recovered more than £11,000 in care funding. Wynne was unable to make decisions for herself, so her daughter, Christine, held Lasting Power of Attorney and was her representative. However, Christine was not informed when a re-assessment of Wynne’s eligibility for continuing healthcare funding was arranged, and it took place in October 2014 without her knowledge. This review concluded that Wynne was no longer eligible for CHC funding, and a letter was sent to her at …read more

The Rip Off Britain couple who used their mother’s entire estate to fund care, leaving nothing for her grandchildren. They weren’t told about the free care funding from the NHS.

Posted on: September 27th, 2016 by Tim Saunders

Beacon’s Managing Director, Dan Harbour, blogs about his appearance on BBC One’s Rip Off Britain, and the sadly familiar tale that’s leaving families with enormous care costs. Many months ago I was asked to record an interview for BBC One’s consumer affairs programme Rip Off Britain. They were putting together a feature on NHS continuing healthcare, and this morning the episode aired. The programme followed Mr and Mrs Pearson, who are facing a long, tough, battle to reclaim the quarter of a million pounds that Mr Pearson’s elderly mother – Kath – had to pay for …read more