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

Posted on: March 6th, 2018 by Meelee Parsons

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 several positive updates that will make a difference to patients. It is the clarification on the nature of reviews that is possibly the most positive and significant change. Currently, patients in receipt of CHC funding feel that the primary purpose of each annual review is to find a reason to stop their funding. The update puts a clear focus on checking the care package is working well, rather than reviewing eligibility. If implemented correctly, this will significantly reduce the stress and worry patients and their families go through each year at review time.”

We’re disappointed that the update has not sufficiently clarified some areas that we know are poorly understood by professionals expected to make vital decisions about patients’ eligibility for care funding. For instance, the important principles of ‘well-managed needs’ and ‘primary healthcare need’ remain open to interpretation. We find it’s this lack of clarity that often makes it possible for CCGs to find a reason to say ‘no’ to patients, when in fact the answer should be ‘yes’.”

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You can also read our commentary outlining all the key changes to the Framework, and what they mean for patients.

Do you need our help?

Beacon CHC is a social enterprise providing ethical, expert and affordable help to help trying to navigate the maze of NHS Continuing Healthcare. For over 13 years, our team of specialist caseworkers have won over £8 million in restitution for our clients, with a success rate of over 70% in cases brought to appeal.

We’re proud that, in addition to our paid-for casework, we provide free and independent help to hundreds of patients and families every week through the Information and Advice Service and free Navigational Toolkit.

If you have questions about any aspect of NHS CHC, call us on 0345 548 0300

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