Investigation into NHS Continuing Healthcare
The National Audit Office (NAO) has published the results of its investigation into NHS Continuing Healthcare funding.
Thank you to everyone who wrote to the NAO with your personal experience of the Continuing Healthcare process.
The NAO investigation into NHS Continuing Healthcare highlights many issues of concern in the actual funding assessment process, as well as in the way eligibility criteria are applied. These are just some of the issues that the report identifies:
- huge differences between CCG areas regarding the number of people funded by Continuing Healthcare
- assessors ignoring case law
- assessors ignoring the Continuing Healthcare guidelines
- assessors playing down care needs
- assessors ignoring or failing to gather relevant evidence
- unacceptable delays in the process
- lack of communication and response by CCGs to questions and complaints from families
- lack of any meaningful data on the number of appeals made against CCG decisions
…and many more.
With this situation as a starting point, and NHS England also looking to make cuts of £855m to NHS Continuing Healthcare by 2020-2, things can surely only get worse for patients.
Many families report feeling powerless when it comes to NHS Continuing Healthcare. ‘Fighting the system’ is rarely easy, and with Continuing Healthcare it seems particularly so. However, two things you can do in response to this report are:
- write to your MP and demand action to safeguard the right to NHS Continuing Healthcare funding for all those who meet the eligibility criteria
- write to the press to help further expose what’s going on in NHS Continuing Healthcare.