What is Care To Be Different?
NHS Continuing Healthcare advice
Care To Be Different is a specialist online information resource all about NHS Continuing Healthcare funding in England.
NHS Continuing Healthcare is NHS money that covers the cost of care for people who meet certain criteria in terms of their care needs. It is not means tested and eligibility has nothing to do with a person’s money, house or savings.
Care To Be Different shows you:
- what’s right and what’s to when it comes to care fees in England
- how to apply for NHS Continuing Heatlhcare funding – and appeal decisions that deny funding
- what to look out for in NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments and how to fight your relative’s corner
- how to prevent an elderly relative being discharged from hospital before being properly assessed for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding
…and much, much more. It means you have the best chance to secure the care funding your relative may be entitled to, and to protect their money and their home.
Get informed – read as much as possible
Information about what should actually happen in NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments is not always easy to find. Families report that it is often hard to know which way to turn when someone needs care – and many people feel that the system is designed to stop people accessing the care funding they’re entitled to.
The information on this website is based on the extensive research into the care funding system in the England carried out by Angela Sherman, director of Care To Be Different – and also the personal experience of hundreds of families who have contributed to this site through there comments and by sharing their experiences.
Read these first – NHS Continuing Healthcare advice:
- Use the list of Categories on the right hand side of the page to help you find what you need.
- Use the search box/search icon too to find what you need. (The search icon is the little ‘magnifying glass’ top right on each page.)
- Subscribe to our regular information bulletins – FREE. Go to the Home page.
- Take a look at our ebook, ‘How To Get The NHS To Pay For Care’. Going through an assessment without being well informed about what happens in PRACTICE puts you at a big disadvantage. This step-by-step guide shows you how to fight back when assessors incorrectly try to deny your relative the funding they may be legally entitled to.
- Join our Facebook page – and share your experiences with other families going through the same thing.
Additional articles to help you get started
Need more help with your case?
The NHS Continuing Healthcare process can be exhausting.
You may be going through the initial assessment process or feeling stuck with an appeal – or you may be claiming back care fees retrospectively.
If you need a specialist solicitor to help you with your individual case, read more here.
Why does Care To Be Different exist?
In an ideal world, it wouldn’t be needed at all. Sadly, the care funding system can be a minefield for families.
Angela Sherman, director of Care To Be Different, started this website after her experience trying to understand the care funding system when her parents needed care. They were incorrectly charged for care fees – when in fact the NHS should have covered 100% of the cost instead.
She challenged the NHS on their attempts to wrongly make her parents pay for care, and she eventually secured full NHS Continuing Healthcare funding covering all care fees for both of them.
She has since developed this website as a specialist information resource, providing practical information about NHS Continuing Healthcare funding specifically for families.
More about Angela Sherman
Angela writes and speaks about care funding and NHS Continuing Healthcare and has developed the content on this website to help families battling with care funding assessments in England.
Since setting up Care To Be Different she has heard from hundreds of families, the vast majority of whom have experienced appalling practice by NHS and local authority assessors. She speaks about the subject at length on radio, TV and in the press and has often been featured and quoted in the press.
Angela’s own parents both had Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. Her mother also had heart disease and several strokes, and towards the end of his life her father developed cancer. They both went into full-time care on the same day in spring 2005, and they both died within a few weeks of each other at the end of 2009.
Angela Sherman adds:
“Today I have the peace of mind that I fought hard for my parents while they were in care – protecting their financial interests and also doing what I could to make sure they received the care they were entitled to. But it wasn’t always that way.
“When my parents first went into care I knew nothing about the care system – and I found that very few people in ‘authority’ were willing to help me. Their first questions were all about my parents’ money, and few people seemed concerned about their actual care needs.
“It’s hard having a parent in a care home. It’s even harder having two parents in care at the same time, especially when both are very disabled and both have severe dementia. And it’s harder still when you don’t understand the system and yet you’re faced with the exhausting battle of forcing the NHS to step up to its legal duty.
“Every time I found myself having to describe my parents’ state of health to people from the NHS, whose main aim seemed to be to obstruct the funding process and deny care, my heart would break a little bit more.
“I realised my parents were at the hands of an NHS and a ‘care’ system that seems to care very little for older people. I also experienced first hand the gap between how things should work in theory and what actually happens in practice.
“It felt like a very long battle – and if back then I’d had even half the knowledge I have now, it would have been so much easier.
“My elation at finally securing free NHS Continuing Healthcare funding for my parents is mixed with immense anger at the ridiculous hoops I had to jump through to access care funding – and to counter the illegal decisions made by the NHS in denying care that should have been provided free of charge all along.”
“Incorrect care funding decisions are often imposed on older people in care, and yet there is often no one in any statutory authority willing to help people challenge such decisions.
“As happened with my own parents, the wrong decisions as a result of a flawed and illegal process led to them having to sell their home to pay for care – until I challenged the NHS and won a refund of care fees for them.
“I blogged about my experiences at the time, and then I decided to set up Care To Be Different – to share the knowledge and insider insights I’d gained, and to raise greater awareness of the extent of financial abuse and seeming age discrimination in our woefully inadequate care system.
“If I’d had someone to guide me through the process back then – and show me what really happens, not just what’s supposed to happen – I would have saved so much time and stress.
“Older people in full time care have a right to receive state-funded NHS care for health needs through taxation just as much as any other person, whatever their age or circumstances.
“One of my favourite quotes is from Mahatma Gandhi: “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Finally you win.”
“For me it sums up perfectly what older people and their families often face when pursuing the funding and the care that is rightfully theirs. And, more importantly, it reminds me how the injustices of the system can be exposed and overturned.”