Is NHS Continuing Healthcare Fast Track only for end of life?

Is NHS Continuing Healthcare Fast Track only for end of life?

Is NHS Continuing Healthcare Fast Track only for end of life?When can the NHS Continuing Healthcare Fast Track funding process be used?

No. 12 in our series of 27 tips on NHS Continuing Healthcare…

NHS Continuing Healthcare funding is NHS money that covers the full cost of care for people who meet certain criteria in terms of their health needs.

However, the assessment process can take a long time. So what happens if you need funding urgently?

There’s a Fast Track process to get funding and care in place within 48 hours.

Many families report being told that NHS Continuing Healthcare Fast Track funding is only for end of life. This is not true.

Fast Track is for periods of rapid deterioration at any stage in life. After all, you don’t necessarily know if a person is about to reach end of life – even though they may be rapidly deteriorating.

The prognosis is not the determining factor in NHS Continuing Healthcare Fast Track funding.

What do the guidelines say? The National Framework is a document containing the main NHS Continuing Healthcare guidelines. Let’s look at what it says about when, and to whom, Fast Track funding applies:

National Framework page 32:

“Individuals with a rapidly deteriorating condition that may be entering a terminal phase…”

“The completed Fast Track Tool should be supported by a prognosis, if available. However, strict time limits that base eligibility on some specified expected length of life remaining should not be imposed…”

“The purpose of the Fast Track Tool is to ensure that individuals with a rapidly deteriorating condition that may be entering a terminal phase are supported in their preferred place of care as quickly as possible.”

Read more about the NHS Continuing Healthcare Fast Track and how to get a quick decision

Tip no. 11: Should you agree to a means test for care fees?

Tip no. 13: Why bother with NHS Continuing Healthcare funding if the local authority is already paying for your care?

You don’t have to fight this battle alone

Fighting a Continuing Healthcare funding battle alone can feel daunting. If you need to talk to someone about your case, read more here.


  1. Deborah Black 4 months ago

    My father was admitted into a care home on 15th June 2018, he was given 6 weeks to máximum 6 months to live as he was suffering from bladder cáncer. He was receiving CHC up until 21st October 2018 when it was withdrawn. He was hardly eating at this stage, his mobility was deteriorating rapidly and suffered from dementia. I requested from the local Council to carry out an urgent financial assessment as my father did not have the funds to pay the full cost of the nursing home fees. The local authority duly carried out an assessment and sent a provisional amendment to the future payments which were more realistic and affordable (70% less). The final confirmation was to be made once the social worker had visited the home and revised all of the paperwork. The local authority informed me in writing that the matter was being treated as urgent. Unfortunately the social worker never appeared and my father´s health began to deteriorate in December when he began to suffer great pain and required alot of drugs and care. It wasn´t until 13th December 2018 that CHC was reinstated and my father died 6 days later. I have now received notification from the local council that the case is now closed since there is no need to send a social worker since my father is no longer at the home, and I have been informed to appeal the CHC decisión of taking away the funds from 21st October to 13th December. Please could you tell me what I can do since the CHC should never have been taken away in the first place and why did the local authority never send a social worker when we were placed with the urgent financial assessment team.
    I would be very appreciative of your help and guidance regarding this matter.

  2. Teresa 8 months ago

    My Mother has been on Fastrack funding since discharge from hospital approx. 12 weeks ago. She is on end of life palliative care only – has made no improvement and is nearing the end, in fact we have had a few false alarms one being only a week ago. We attended the review meeting yesterday and it became clear that the MDT were going to do an eligibility assessment. I queried why this was necessary as the framework clearly states that if someone is nearing the end of the life then the CCG should consider funding their package to the end. There is also further guidance in the appendices of the framework amplifying this and stating that only in certain cases should the eligibility be re-assessed in cases where someone is expected to die in the near future. Neither the assessor or social worker could give me any rationale around why they were doing the re-assessment except that ‘ Their Managers told them to and it was above their pay grade to question it. Neither seemed aware of these relevant paragraphs and asked me to point them out in the framework. The assessor insisted that this methodology was only going to apply in the new framework from the 1st October (so we have been unlucky to have the review meeting in September) but I showed her that it applies in the old framework too. The meeting did not go well. The Social Worker sought to trivialise my Mother’s condition at every point and asked several questions about her past medical history that seemed irrelevant to this point in time so that I felt I was on trial – he constantly contradicted himself because when we wanted to raise an issue we were told that the assessment was solely about what had been going on in the last 12 weeks. He seemed to have already made up his mind that funding should be withdrawn. The assessment was a perfect example of twisting the domains to suit – They both seemed to imply that as Mum was now not on any medication and End of Life, that her needs had reduced in some way whereas she has deteriorated. As a result Mum only scored one ‘Severe’ but had a number of ‘Highs’ – I’m not even sure if those were their scores or only ours . The assessor was professional but the social worker seemed to dominate. The social worker left first and I told the assessor that I was not happy with his conduct and would be making a formal complaint. My husband just observed in the proceedings and he came to the same independent conclusions as myself and we are now left uneasy and uncomfortable with the feeling we were not treated fairly. This is a very stressful time. Should I wait for the decision to come through (I was given no indication of what their recommendation should be but told the decision would be within 2 weeks) or should I voice my concerns about the procedure and complain on Monday? Any thoughts?

  3. Ceri Morris 10 months ago

    I am wondering if my Nanna would be eligible for this, she is in a residential EMI bed in Sefton, with Local Authority paying some of the fees, we are paying a top up. District Nurses are visiting regularly and she is written up for anticipatory medication, she is quality life feeding, so I was wondering if she can be eligible for the CHC fast track tool to be completed by the DNS. They seem to think she can’t stay in preferred place of care to be eligible for this, she would need to move to a nursing bed in another home.
    I would appreciate your assistance with this.

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