Six-month deadline reinstated for appeals, closing an unfair loophole

Posted on: February 7th, 2020 by Jane Shepley

It has been confirmed that people in England are entitled to six months to decide to appeal an eligibility decision for NHS Continuing Healthcare.

The Department of Health and Social Care have today confirmed that this is the national guidance that every Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) should adhere to.

The six-month timescale has been reinstated for the first stage of the appeal process (Local Resolution) and remains the case for the second stage (Independent Review).

Department responds to challenge

The update comes just a few months after the worrying news that CCGs were being allowed to set their own appeal timescales, and that this advice superseded the previous guidance published in 2012.

This decision was robustly challenged by Beacon and others, who feared it would lead to worsening of the postcode lottery in CHC.

Today, the Department confirmed that the 2012 guidance will shortly be updated and re-published, and will once more state the six month appeal deadline.

CCGs urged to act now

Dan Harbour, Managing Director of Beacon, says:

“I’m delighted that the Department has got rid of the ambiguity and confirmed that the six-month appeal timescale should remain.

“In recent years we’ve seen more and more CCGs doing their own thing; some cutting the time people have to appeal to as little as 14 days. This is completely unreasonable, and now that the loophole is closed, we urge these CCGs to adopt the national standard with immediate effect.

“This is an area our advisors and caseworkers will be keeping a close eye on over the coming months. We’ll be making sure that all our callers and clients are being given enough time to absorb the grounds for their funding decision, and launch an appeal if they wish to.”

How we can help

Our free Navigational Toolkit contains a comprehensive guide to appealing a full assessment decision. Register and download your Toolkit today.

If you need a quick guide to help you decide whether to appeal, our blog is a great place to start.

We have an Expert Analysis Service, which provides a comprehensive review of your assessment and eligibility decision, with honest opinion on your likely chance of a successful appeal.

Or you can opt for Full Appeal Management, if you have already decided to appeal and need help and advocacy.

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