9 more untruths about NHS Continuing Healthcare funding
In part 1 of this article we looked at 17 untruths families are repeatedly told about NHS Continuing Healthcare funding – and the devastating results of flawed funding assessments and decisions.
If you’re currently going though the NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment process for a relative, read on. We’ve listed here 9 more typical untruths families are told about NHS Continuing Healthcare funding.
They’ll help you recognise and challenge false information you may be given.
9 more untruths about NHS Continuing Healthcare:
1. “You are not allowed to see any of the assessment notes.”
If it’s you yourself who is being assessed, then you are, of course, entitled to see the assessment notes and the decision making rationale for the funding decision. If you are acting as your relative’s representative, you are also entitled to see the notes and decision-making rationale. Without this, you are being denied the ability to properly appeal any decision that denies funding. So insist on being sent a copy.
2. “You are not allowed to attend assessment meetings.”
Many families are told this, and it’s not correct. Indeed, the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care makes it very clear that families should be fully involved in the process and that they should have the opportunity to input.
3. “You are not allowed to speak during assessment meetings.”
This is complete nonsense. You have every right to fight your relative’s corner and make all the verbal and written points you want to make to support their case.
Points 1-3 above: See National Framework pages 53-54 PG4, which makes it very clear how important it is that the person being assessed and/or their representative is fully involved and informed – and directly involved in the assessment and decision making process.
4. “You are not allowed to take anyone with you to assessments.”
Again, this is nonsense. You can take someone with you to support you – even if you are already representing your relative yourself. You can take more than one person if you want to. It’s courteous to let the assessors know who will be coming, but don’t let them convince you that you can’t bring anyone.
5. “If you take a solicitor with you, the solicitor is not allowed to speak.”
Again, this is not true. See the National Framework page 61, paragraph 10.2:
“If the individual chooses to have a legally qualified person to act as their advocate, that person would be acting with the same status as any other advocate nominated by the individual concerned.”
The solicitor won’t be able to debate broader legal questions, but they have exactly the same right as any other kind of representative to speak and ask questions about the individual assessment process taking place.
6. “Local authorities/councils never get involved in the Continuing Healthcare process.”
Local authorities/councils MUST be involved in the Continuing Healthcare process! How else will they be able to decide if a person’s care is beyond their legal remit?
7. “Local authorities/councils never get involved in the Continuing Healthcare process if a person has savings.”
Nonsense. A person’s money/assets have absolutely nothing to do with the Continuing Healthcare process. It is about care needs ONLY – and the same answer as point 6. above also applies.
8. “NHS Continuing Healthcare funding only covers 2 hrs care a day.”
We frequently hear of families being told that Continuing Healthcare is capped. It is not. There are many instances where people receiving care at home are told they can only have ‘x’ number of visits per day. Again, Continuing Healthcare is not capped and it must cover ALL assessed care needs, whatever those needs are – including social care needs. See National Framework pages 14-15, paragraph 33:
“Where an individual …is therefore eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, the NHS is responsible for providing all of that individual’s assessed health and social care needs…”
9. “The Fast Track process only applies if a person has a prognosis of less than three months.”
Not true. The Fast Track process applies if a person is at end of life OR in a period of rapid decline. The period of rapid decline does not have to be end of life, and there does not have to be an exact prognosis about how many days or weeks a person may or may not have left to live.
If you haven’t read the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care, it’s a very good idea to familiarise yourself with it, as it will give you extra ammunition for challenging incorrect funding decisions and fighting your relative’s corner during assessment meetings.
It’s also vital that you read the Checklist and the Decision Support Tool documents.
Read part 1 of this article: 17 untruths about NHS Continuing Healthcare funding
What’s your experience in NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment meetings?