2020 Year In Review: Care To Be Different remains the No.1 website for free information and resources relating to NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding (CHC) – free NHS funding for individuals aged 18 and over, with complex, intense or unpredictable long-term healthcare needs.
Looking back over 2020, it has been an extremely difficult and challenging year for everyone going through the CHC funding process. Government measures to try and contain COVID placed CHC assessments and appeals on hold between March and August. Care homes closed their doors to visitors and families in an effort to avoid spreading the virus to those most vulnerable in society. Patients and their families were denied even the basic human touch of a held hand or embrace, as care homes entered into lockdown for many months. Government emergency funding was put in place to assist with care needs and rehabilitation for patients being rapidly discharged from hospital to free up beds. Thankfully, the Government mandated Clinical Commissioning Groups to re-open for CHC business and catch up with the back log of assessments and appeals starting from 1st September. We have since noticed a surge in CHC activity as CCGs take action to make up for lost time and press ahead with new assessments.
At this time of year, we wanted to express our thanks to all our readers and contributors for your continued interest in our website and for openly sharing your personal experiences to help others facing similar problems when fighting the NHS for vital free CHC Funding.
Despite the COVID pandemic, we have been able to keep our readers up to date with developments and changes to NHS funding throughout the year and respond to your enquiries. Reflecting on 2020, Care To Be Different have produced a substantive 49 blogs, highlighting some of the issues and scandals surrounding NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding. Our articles are crammed with useful guidance and tips to help you battle the NHS to get CHC Funding for your spouse, relative, friend or client.
It’s been a tough choice, this year, but here are our top awards for 2020:
January: Most Checklisted
The Checklist assessment is a preliminary screening tool used by the NHS to help practitioners assess a basic level of need and determine whether an individual is eligible to move forward to a full assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding. Most assessments for CHC start with the Checklist. In this blog you will learn about the Checklist assessment, how to start the process, who arranges the Checklist, who can attend, possible outcomes and much more. Preparation at this initial stage of the assessment process is essential.
Learn more about where the checklist assessment takes place, how to start the process,
February: Most Common
Following on from January’s blog, read about the 11 most frequent mistakes made when undergoing the Checklist assessment and ensure you know your rights so that you don’t fail at the first hurdle and can progress onto a full assessment with a Multi-Disciplinary Team.
Runner up: Battling NHS delays – join the queue!
March: Most Excluded
As your relative’s personal representative or appointed advocate, you are entitled to attend the Multi-Disciplinary Team assessment (MDT). The CCG’s appointed assessors will complete the Decision Support Tool and then make a recommendation to the CCG as to whether CHC Funding should be awarded or not. This is a critical step in the assessment process and under no circumstances should you be excluded from the MDT. Read our case study and learn how to handle any such blatant abuse of process contrary to the National Framework.
April: Most Exclusive
It does what it says on the tin. CTBD are privileged to have been able to interview an NHS England Independent Review Panel Chair who shares some tips, lessons and guidance for all those making an appeal. The IRP is often thought of as your ‘last chance saloon’- the equivalent of the Supreme Court. This exclusive blog follows a question and answer format and covers 24 issues that families frequently ask before attending an IRP panel. This blog offers a rare insight and is recommended if you have an appeal pending.
Runner up: Part 1. Explaining The Vital Difference Between Social Needs vs Healthcare Needs. (Don’t forget to check out Part 2 on our website).
May: Best Managed
CTBD explore this difficult and highly controversial topic which is often misunderstood and misapplied by both CCGs and families alike. Learn how to combat the CCG’s arguments and use the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare to argue the case that ‘a well-managed need is still a need’.
Runner up: PART 1 – Looking At The 4 Key Indicators: Unlocking the Basics (plus take a look at Parts 2, 3 & 4!)
June: Most Problematic
Read about why good record keeping is of vital assistance if you are going to have the best chance of succeeding with your relative’s CHC claim. MDT panels often rely on the care home records as part of their decision-making process as to eligibility for CHC Funding. Inaccurate, incorrect or missing entries can paint an entirely different picture of the level of need and affect the outcome decision. Check the care home records frequently to ensure that the daily entries recorded accurately reflect your relative’s healthcare read needs.
July: Most Unlawful
Can care homes lawfully charge top-up fees if your relative has been awarded CHC Funding? Top-up fees are the exception and not the general rule, should always involve informed consent, be voluntary, optional, affordable and transparent. Read our excellent blog on this complex subject and discover whether your relative may have been unlawfully charged care home fees and what they can do about it. Explore the issues and read our top 10 tips.
August: Most Persistent
Based on a testimonial, read an inspiring story from one contributor and how she successfully fought for her relative’s CHC funding, and through sheer stubbornness and refusal to take ‘no’ for an answer, took her case all the way to appeal at NHS England and won.
September: Best Prepared
The Covid pandemic placed inevitable restrictions on Clinical Commissioning Groups and with it the inability to conduct face-to-face assessments and appeals between 19th March to 31st August 2020 as key staff were diverted to the frontline to help with patient discharge from hospitals. Most CCGs were closed for CHC ‘business’ save for a handful of appeal panels that were able to convene by remote video. However, with effect from 1 September 2020 it was back to usual business. Read about the latest transitioning provisions and our recommendations to prepare your case whilst CCGs catch up with their backlogs.
Runner up: Don’t Miss Out On Funded Nursing Care
October: Most Confused
If you’ve been turned down for CHC Funding you only have 6 months to lodge your appeal. This time will pass quickly and there is much work to be done when preparing your detailed appeal submissions. Early preparation is paramount and vital to success. Read our informative blog on the appeal process and get our top 10 tips to help you succeed whether at Local Resolution Meeting or an NHS England Independent Review Panel.
November: Most Interesting
If your relative has been successful in retrospectively claiming CHC Funding, they are automatically entitled to interest on their restitution sum awarded. Read this excellent article which focusses on your entitlement to interest, how to calculate it and check that the CCGs are paying you the correct amount using the most appropriate rate of interest.
December: Most Accessible
When pursuing a claim for CHC Funding as your relative’s representative, it is essential that they give you (or you obtain) the appropriate legal authority to act on their behalf. Correct legal authority, such as a Lasting Power of Attorney or Will, confers absolute legal power to the designated recipient to act when needed and make important decisions in a timely manner. In this blog, we explore various scenarios where such authority is necessary to give legal standing to act. If you have any doubts whether there is legal authority in place, read this article.
Finally, as 2020 closes, we wish all our readers and contributors a happy, healthy and prosperous new year and all the best for 2021. Keep safe.
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“This is where the support from CTBD came in. Although we always believed he was eligible for full funding, the information from articles on the website and hints given on dealing with these assessments were vital and gave us the confidence to proceed. We had also purchased their book “How To Get The NHS To Pay For Care” which gave invaluable advice.” [Anonymous]