NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments in hospital
These tips follow on from Sarah’s case study about her mum, and the attempts by the hospital discharge team to discharge her mum without the proper NHS Continuing Healthcare funding assessments.
Here in Part 4 we’ve included further advice to help you if you’re in a similar position…
- Throughout the Continuing Healthcare assessment process, whoever holds power of attorney should be consulted at all times and should have a copy of all assessment notes (Checklist, Decision Support Tool (DST), Fast Track, etc.) and be asked to input fully into all assessments and decisions.
- A power of attorney is an important legal document, and all health and social care staff have a duty to acknowledge this.
- If your relative has not yet made a power of attorney, but they still do have the mental capacity to do so, it’s vital that this is done as soon as possible. Read more about Lasting Powers of Attorney.
- If your relative has not made a power of attorney and they no longer have the mental capacity to do so, you may be nevertheless able to apply for a Deputyship Order from the Court of Protection.
- Be aware that the NHS is notoriously bad at telling families about NHS Continuing Healthcare funding for full time care, so stand firm and don’t be persuaded into paying for anything until the proper NHS funding assessments are carried out.
- A hospital discharge team should only discharge your relative after:
- the NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment process has been carried out properly
- a full ongoing care plan has been drawn up
- there is a safe and appropriate place for a patient to be discharged to
- You will have much more leverage to get Continuing Healthcare assessments done quickly while your relative is still in hospital – because the hospital will want the bed back. However, given how poorly many elderly people fare in hospital, you may reach a point where their safety and wellbeing takes precedence over everything else, and that would be entirely understandable.
- If your relative does not qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare, no one should be forced into financial hardship by being asked to pay top up fees for them. (Remember, top up fees are only applicable to social care/means tested care.
- NHS Continuing Healthcare funding cannot be topped up – and you should never be asked to do so.
- A person does not have to be at end of life to receive NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. It can be at any stage of life and for as long as care needs indicate it is required.
Read more about what should – and shouldn’t – happen with NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments if your relative is in hospital.