NHS Continuing Healthcare – the basics


What is Continuing Care funding?

Continuing Care – officially called NHS Continuing Healthcare – is a fully-funded package of care that some people are entitled to receive as a result of disability, accident or illness. It covers the full cost of the person’s care and residential accommodation.

NHS Continuing Healthcare funding is available to adults living in England who have particularly intense, complex or unpredictable care needs. Unlike local authority funding, it is not means tested.

Who can get Continuing Healthcare?

To qualify for Continuing Healthcare funding, it must be proven that you have a ‘primary health need’. This means that your care requirements are primarily for healthcare, rather than social or personal care needs.

This is usually judged via a two-step assessment process; a Checklist followed by a Full Assessment.

Can you get Continuing Healthcare for dementia?

Eligibility is based on the extent and nature of your care needs, not your diagnosis. It’s not possible to say that if you have a particular condition – or group of conditions – you will be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare.

How do I get Continuing Healthcare funding?

To work out if you are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, a team of professionals should assess your needs against a set of criteria. They make a recommendation of whether they think you’re eligible or not to your local Integrated Care Board (ICB – the people who make spending decisions about healthcare in your area).

To be eligible, most people are assessed over a two-stage process: an initial Checklist, which if positive, is followed by a Full Assessment.

If an individual is reaching the end of their life, they may instead have a Fast Track Assessment.

How we can help

The Continuing Healthcare system is complex, dogged by lack of a clarity and understanding, and wildly inconsistent across regions. Patients and professionals alike find it extremely difficult to navigate.

At Beacon, we live and breathe NHS Continuing Healthcare and – for more than a decade – our experts have helped more than 20,000 people to navigate the process. And we have helped recover £10 million in care fees for people who should not have had to pay for their care.

We can provide free advice and answer your questions about the process through our Information and Advice Service. We believe that with our support, many people can become confident and capable of navigating the process themselves.

However, if you find you need more help, our caseworkers can provide affordable services to support you at any stage of the process; from being your expert advocate at your assessment, to managing your appeal from start to finish.

We know that navigating CHC can be stressful, complex and overwhelming, and we are here to help you get through it.