Should social workers attend Continuing Healthcare assessments for self funders?

Should social workers attend Continuing Healthcare assessments for self funders?

Continuing Healthcare assessments for self fundersIf you’re ‘self funding’, does a social worker have to attend your NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment?

No. 17 in our series of 27 top tips on NHS Continuing Healthcare…

Some families report being told that a social worker/local authority representative doesn’t need to be involved in NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments for self funders.

In other words, if you’re paying for your own care at the moment, the local authority bears no responsibility for your fate when it comes to funding.

Is this true?

Absolutely not.

There are so many false assumptions bound up in this thinking, so let’s pick them apart with 7 easy points to remember:

1. Whether you’re currently self funding or not has nothing whatsoever to do with NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. Nothing at all.

2. NHS Continuing Healthcare is about your care needs ONLY – it’s nothing to do with your money, assets or whether you’re currently paying for your own care.

3. A local authority must be involved in NHS Continuing Healthcare funding decisions – because they must decide whether a person is above or below the limit for their own local authority (means tested) care.

4. If anyone tells you the local authority doesn’t need to be because you are self funding, not only are they completely wrong but they’ve failed to grasp the whole point of an NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment! (The point is to assess who pays for your care: you, the NHS or the local authority. Just because you’re paying care fees at the moment doesn’t mean you should be – and certainly doesn’t mean you’ll have to continue to pay.)

5. So if you’re told that a social worker doesn’t need to attend NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments for self funders, explain very firmly that this means the local authority will potentially be in an illegal position as a result. Why? Because the NHS may pass responsibility for care onto the local authority when in fact the NHS has a legal duty to cover the full cost of care.

6. Whether or not a person is currently paying for their own care (i.e. a so-called ‘self funder’) is of absolutely no relevance here.

7. It’s therefore vital that social workers (or local authority representatives) are involved in NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments for self funders.

Tip no. 16: What kind of care needs count in NHS Continuing Healthcare?

Tip no. 18: Deteriorating health needs and NHS Continuing Healthcare

You don’t have to fight this battle alone

Fighting a Continuing Healthcare funding battle alone can feel daunting. If you need to talk to someone about your case, read more here.



  1. Taylor 2 years ago

    Just had an assessment, and when I asked re Social Services representation, I was told that the RGN from the nursing home was fulfilling that role. As a person employed by the Nursing Home, surely she cannot represent the Local Authority?

  2. Melanie Cornwell 2 years ago

    I had an excellent Social Worker at my sons meeting on Friday. She was my sons social worker for most of 11 years. She has mainly worked in children’s but moved to adult transitions last year. The assessor asked if she was a qualified social worker. My social worker happened to mention that this was her first Decision Support Tool and this was also commented on. The assessor said it would be mentioned in a the report as she should have had a supervisor with her. She had to explain she had been on a recent NHS training course, paid for by the NHS and run by the most senior assessing officers.

  3. Pauline Hardinges 2 years ago

    The latest statement is “we invited Social Services (S/S) but they haven’t turned up”. Then after complaining to the S/S we find out that they knew nothing about the assessment.

  4. Sarah Lynch 2 years ago

    Hi, has anyone ever been told that an NHS Continuing Healthcare Assessment cannot take place because their relative is ‘unstable’ ? Laughable isn’t it!?

  5. Jim 2 years ago

    The NHS continuing care test set out in regulation 21(7(a) of the Standing Rules (SI 2012/2996) makes it clear that it is irrelevant whether or not a person is “self funding”. Note the inclusion of “…or would be but for a person’s means…” in 21(7)(a).

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