NHS Continuing Health Care is the name given to a package of services which is arranged and funded by the NHS for people outside hospital with ongoing health needs. You can get continuing healthcare in any setting, including your own home or in a care home.
NHS continuing healthcare is free, unlike help from social services for which a charge may be made depending on your income and savings. If you do not qualify for NHS continuing health care you will still receive mainstream services free of charge, i.e. GP, District Nursing Services, Specialist therapy.
If NHS continuing healthcare is provided in a care home, it will cover the care home fees, including the cost of accommodation, personal care and healthcare costs. If NHS continuing care is provided in the home of the person, it will cover personal care and healthcare costs.
Who is eligible for NHS Continuing Health Care?
Anyone assessed as requiring a certain level of care need, can get NHS continuing health care. It is not dependent on a particular disease, diagnosis or condition, nor on who provides the care or where that care is provided. The circumstances can include:
- older people with chronic illness or disabilities
- older people suffering from mental illness or dementia
- people suffering from mental illness
- physically disabled adults
- people with learning disabilities
- people who are terminally ill
If your overall care needs show that your primary need is a health one, you may qualify for continuing healthcare.
The primary health need is assessed by looking at all of your care needs and relating them to four key indicators:
- nature – the type of condition or treatment required (quality and quantity)
- complexity – symptoms that interact; therefore difficult to manage or control
- intensity – one or more health needs, so severe they require regular intervention
- unpredictability – unexpected changes in condition that are difficult to manage and present a risk to you or to others.
What if I am not eligible for NHS continuing healthcare?
If you do not qualify for NHS continuing health care then you may have to pay for some or all of your care, although the NHS will still provide for your medical needs. You may have to take a local authority means test to decide how much you should pay towards your personal care and accommodation if you are in a care home.
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Care Quality Commission
Our services are monitored, inspected and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England. You can visit their site at www.cqc.org.uk to view inspection results for all health and social care providers.