News Articles

Government response to recommendations for CHC improvement are ‘not heart-warming’, says Beacon

Posted on: April 27th, 2018 by JS

In January, following an inquiry to which we were invited to give expert evidence, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) published their frank assessment of the state of the Continuing Healthcare (CHC) system. In it they highlighted five areas where the system is falling short: delays in assessments awareness of the funding the postcode lottery of eligibility inconsistent compliance to the national guidelines unclear savings targets Alongside each area, the PAC made recommendations for improvement – asking the Department of Health and NHS England to report back by April 2018 in most cases. Response from the Government The …read more

The National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare has been updated – our response

Posted on: March 6th, 2018 by JS

On Friday 2 March the Department of Health and Social Care published a revised National Framework for Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and NHS-funded Nursing Care. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have until October 2018 to adopt the new rules. Dan Harbour, Managing Director of Beacon, and the national Information and Advice Service for NHS CHC, said: “CHC packages can make a life-or-death difference to people with serious, often long term, health problems. Poor adoption of best practice and patchy availability of funding has become endemic, and the Framework update is a golden opportunity for improvement. “We’re pleased to see …read more

Beacon and Continuing Healthcare Alliance welcome frank report from parliamentary committee

Posted on: January 17th, 2018 by JS

The Public Accounts Committee has today (Wednesday 17 January 2018) issued a report that makes recommendations to improve the NHS Continuing Healthcare system. Responding to the report, Matina Loizou, Chair of the Continuing Healthcare Alliance (of which Beacon is a member) said:  “This report is a victory for so many vulnerable, unwell people in England who have been waiting too long – many to the point of breakdown or even death – for their right to adequate care. “While this report shows their voices have been heard, we still have a long journey ahead of us: NHS …read more

More concerns raised about Continuing Healthcare in the East Midlands

Posted on: September 22nd, 2017 by JS

In response to a story reported in the Health Service Journal on 20 September 2017 ‘CSU blunder leads to hundreds of missed continuing healthcare alerts’ Dan Harbour, Managing Director of Beacon, said: “Last week, a report by the BBC’s Inside Out East programme raised concerns about the integrity of the patient assessment process at the large commissioning support unit (CSU), Arden and Greater East Midlands (GEM). Now we hear of hundreds of alerts being missed at the same CSU, raising further questions of their competence to deliver a fair and effective Continuing Healthcare system for the people …read more

New report sounds warning bells for NHS Continuing Healthcare

Posted on: July 5th, 2017 by JS

The National Audit Office (NAO) has today published an investigation into NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding. This was partly prompted by the receipt of more than 100 complaints from members of the public about the CHC process in England since February 2016. We were pleased to be invited to give evidence as part of the investigation. The key findings In 2015-16 almost 160,000 people received, or were assessed as eligible for, CHC funding at a cost of £3.1 billion During the year, 77,000 were people referred for a full assessment, with 22,000 (29%) being assessed as …read more

Free advice service goes from strength to strength

Posted on: June 9th, 2017 by JS

In October 2016, NHS England renewed our contract as the lead provider of the Information and Advice Service for people needing help to navigate NHS Continuing Healthcare, which we set up in 2015. The expert advice provided by our service has helped thousands of people to understand the complexities of the criteria, prepare for assessment and to get care paid for. In the last financial year alone, our service advisors have completed 6,513 telephone advice calls, 3,156 in-depth (up to 90 min) consultations and 1,563 written consultations. Further, nearly 2,500 people have accessed our free Navigational Toolkit to …read more

A new home for Beacon

Posted on: May 2nd, 2017 by Tim Saunders

It’s been a busy weekend ‘moving house’ and today – Tuesday 2 May – is our first day working at new premises in Abingdon. We’ve transported Beacon eight miles south from our previous home in Cowley to the Science Park in Abingdon. Here we’ll share newly refurbished premises with one of our valued charity partners, Age UK Oxfordshire, though we retain complete independence as a national social enterprise. Our new HQ gives us lots more space to expand our service and to create a better working environment for our busy advisors and caseworkers. We’re still in …read more

Six month deadline for retrospective funding decisions is confirmed by Ombudsman

Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by Tim Saunders

Late last year an issue was brought to our attention by callers to our helpline. They told us that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were giving them very little time to appeal retrospective NHS continuing healthcare decisions. We still get calls from people who requested a retrospective assessment as far back as 2012. They wait years for the assessment, often with little communication from their CCG, only to be sent a huge and bamboozling report that concludes their loved one wasn’t eligible for funding. Unfortunately, because of the backlog of retrospective requests, this is a common tale. However, we …read more

Charities call for changes to NHS continuing healthcare system

Posted on: November 14th, 2016 by Tim Saunders

Urgent improvements are needed to the NHS continuing healthcare (NHS CHC) system in England, a new report reveals today. The system is fundamentally flawed and failing the most vulnerable in society says a coalition of non-profit organisations, called the Continuing Healthcare Alliance. NHS CHC is free care provided outside of hospital by the NHS for eligible people who have care needs due to illness, injury or disability. However new research* by the Alliance has revealed that the system is complicated, confusing and intimidating for those who desperately rely on it. Over half (54%) of survey respondents …read more

Care homes should pass on new nursing care savings to their clients, says Beacon CHC.

Posted on: July 25th, 2016 by Tim Saunders

If you or a loved one are paying nursing home costs, the bills may seem to be constantly on the rise. But an announcement by the Department of Health will lead to an immediate reduction in costs for care homes with nursing, which they should pass on to clients. Funded nursing care (FNC) is the NHS’ contribution toward the costs of a place in a care home for people assessed as needing the help of a registered nurse. On 13 July 2016 the Department of Health announced that the standard rate they will pay for FNC …read more