You may have noticed that the Continuing Healthcare Decision Support Tool (DST) has recently been amended (June 2016).
You may also be wondering what’s changed.
We’ve looked at it in detail and compared it to the previous DST, and we’ve set out the changes here for you.
There are very few changes – a few author details at the beginning and three extra questions in the document itself – but these shouldn’t affect the way the DST works.
To find the DST, look at the page on the gov.uk website that contains all of the Continuing Healthcare documents; it’s now a Word document on that page.
June 2016 Continuing Healthcare Decision Support Tool amendments
Page 2 – Reader information box
The information here about who the DST is for has changed largely in line with the 2013 NHS reforms. However, the ‘Author’ of the DST has changed from the Department of Health to the following bodies:
SCLGCP*/Social Care Policy/Strategic Policy, Finance and NHS Continuing Healthcare / 11120
On the same page the description of purpose for the DST has been removed, as has the list of the other documents used in the Continuing Healthcare assessment process – the Checklist, the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and the Fast Track Pathway Tool.
That may not necessarily mean anything though, and you can find links to all of the Continuing Healthcare assessment documents and National Framework guidelines here.
Page 17 Extra question – hospitals
In the amended DST there is an extra question in Section 1: Personal details, which reads:
“Was this DST completed while the individual was in an acute hospital? Yes/No”
It’s unclear why this question has been added but, as always, be vigilant throughout the Continuing Healthcare assessment process, so you can pick up on anything that appears to be carried out incorrectly.
Remember that an assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare should be carried out before a person is discharged from hospital. Any failure to do this is a breach of the Care Act.
Page 48 – two extra lines
There are two extra dates to be filled in by the Continuing Healthcare multidisciplinary team (MDT) and by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG):
“Date of agreed MDT recommendation”
“for CCG use only: Date of Eligibility Decision/Verification”
There’s nothing of apparent concern there.
Everything else in the Decision Support Tool seems to the same as before, including the descriptions and scoring levels in all 12 care domains.
If you’re about to have a Continuing Healthcare assessment, be sure to read the guidelines and assessment tools – so you know how things should work and so that you can pick up on anything that is done incorrectly.
If you’re new to care fees and NHS Continuing Healthcare, read our Frequently Asked Questions.
(* SCLGCP – Social Care Local Government and Care Partnerships)