Getting assessed for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding while in hospital
Here in Part 2 we’ve included some vital tips to help you if you’re in a similar position…
- If your relative needs ongoing full time care, they cannot be discharged from hospital until they’ve been properly assessed for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. This assessment process determines who is legally responsible for paying for their care. It will be either the NHS or the local authority.
- Local authorities provide social care and this is means tested; the NHS provides health and nursing care and this is never means tested.
- The hospital discharge team might try to discharge your relative by saying he/she will be assessed ‘later’. Don’t let them do that. Some hospitals tell families they will ‘discharge to assess’. What they mean by this is that they will discharge the person to free up the bed, and then at some indeterminate time in the future they might possibly get round to doing the proper assessment for Continuing Healthcare.
- Families often report that once a person has been discharged from hospital, the NHS suddenly has very little motivation to get round to doing the proper Continuing Healthcare assessments.
- Insist on the proper NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment being done prior to discharge. Tell the discharge team that this requirement is set out in law in the new Care Act 2014, and any moves to discharge without following the proper process will be a breach of the law. The local authority also has a duty to alert the NHS to the need for a Continuing Healthcare assessment.
- Never assume the care authorities are on your side. Sadly, he primary motivation of many assessors these days seems to be to find out where there might be some money. Families are often asked about their money at the outset. This is a serious breach of guidelines. At this point all discussions should be about care needs, NOT about how much money a person has or whether they have a house.
- It should always be an NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment first and means testing second. Means testing should only ever be mentioned or carried out if your relative does not qualify for Continuing Healthcare.
- Remember always that the ONLY thing that determines whether your relative receives NHS Continuing Healthcare funding is the extent of her care needs. It has nothing to do with their money, your money or anyone else’s money.
- It’s always good to have someone inside the ‘system’ who is on your side, such as the ward sister in Sarah’s case study. However, remember always that such a person may also be ‘constrained’ by the system.