Coronavirus, NHS Continuing Healthcare, and Beacon

Posted on: March 18th, 2020 by Jane

The impact of coronavirus on NHS Continuing Healthcare

During this worrying and unprecedented time, all of us at Beacon are doing our utmost to carry on supporting, informing and advising our callers and clients as they go through the Continuing Healthcare system. The nature of COVID-19 (coronavirus) makes it particularly concerning for people already in poor health, and their families, who we work with everyday.

We have not received specific information about the impact of the virus on Continuing Healthcare, but it is anticipated that up to 30% of NHS staff may be off sick at any time. Staff who normally work on Continuing Healthcare may therefore be pulled temporarily into core NHS work to mitigate frontline staff shortages.

All this will no doubt have an impact on day-to-day management of the Continuing Healthcare system, which is stretched even at the best of times.

At Beacon we are anticipating a period – potentially up to four months – during which many face-to-face MDT assessments and appeal meetings will be cancelled. Especially in hospitals and care homes where those people most at risk to severe infection tend to be. However, as organisations improve their capabilities to conduct video conferencing, we may begin to see many more assessments and appeals conducted without the need for people to sit together in a room.

Beacon casework

From Tuesday 17 March, all members of staff at Beacon are working from home.

We will be cancelling face-to-face meetings during this isolation period, in favour of phone or video conferencing. All of our caseworkers have the technology necessary to host and participate in audio or video meetings from home, and can work with electronic evidence such as scans of hard copy care records.

This means that most cases will be able to progress in preparatory work, and to assessment/appeal meetings if all attendees have suitable technology.

If your caseworker becomes unwell, we will endeavour to ensure that important or deadline-specific work is managed by a colleague.

Information and Advice Service

Unless several of our advisors are unwell at any one time, we are striving to avoid any significant disruption to the Information and Advice Service. The phoneline will be redirected to our advisors’ workstations at home. Voicemails and call backs should work as normal and the helpline number remains the same: 0345 548 0300.

More information

For the latest information on coronavirus and the government response, visit

If you are worried about managing at home or being isolated during this time, please visit Age UK or call The Silver Line, a helpline for older people, on 0800 4 70 80 90