Many people assume that if you have some savings or own a property, you have to pay for your own care, but this is not always the case.
How reliable is the information you have?
Did you know that the NHS is obliged to pay 100% of your care home fees if you have a ‘Primary Health Need’. This means that your primary need for care is a health need – as opposed to a social care need. This funding is called NHS Continuing Healthcare (or ‘CHC’ for short) and it’s FREE!
However, many of the families who contact us say that they’ve not received any accurate information about this from the health and social care authorities.
Looking back into our archives, we came across this BBC article about NHS Continuing Healthcare entitled, “The little-known fund that can cover complex care costs.” The article is still as relevant today as it was when published on 7th November 2014. Read how more than one million people in the UK have had to sell their homes to pay for their care or a relative’s care. Just think how many more thousands of homes have been sold since then!
The National scandal continues, and nothing seems to have changed since 2014! If anything, from what our readers comment, the NHS are finding even more ways to put families off seeking their entitlement to CHC Funding. Thankfully, BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Programme delved into this scandal again more recently, and highlighted the hurdles and difficulties that some families have faced whilst battling the NHS to obtain CHC Funding for their relative.
Inordinate delays, disseminating incorrect information, failing to adhere to the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding, missing prescribed timescales, conducting assessments that are neither fair nor robust, incorrectly removing vital CHC Funding at reassessments, and generally bamboozling families engaged in the CHC assessment or appeal process – are just some of the concerns raised by families who contact us. No wonder so many give up and end up paying for their relative’s care unnecessarily!
For more information on some of the recent NHS behaviours that we’ve uncovered, read:
- The 10 Most Outrageous Excuses For Not Having An NHS Continuing Healthcare Assessment
- Watch out for the CCGs’ latest tricks to save costs
- Has your relative been “optimised?” NHS invent more delays to avoid CHC Funding…
- Heard of the ‘Grogan Gap’?
Help Care To Be Different to spread the word and raise public awareness of the availability of CHC Funding nationwide, so others are better informed about how to get funding for their relative.
If you’re new to NHS Continuing Healthcare and the assessment process, here’s a really helpful article to get you started: New to NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding? Here’s a guide to the basics you need to know…
There are two types of nursing care funding:
- Fully-funded NHS care is called NHS Continuing Healthcare. This covers 100% of care fees, including accommodation.
- Funded Nursing Care (FNC) is a weekly allowance (previously £158.16, but recently increased to £165.56 from April 2019) paid by the NHS as a contribution specifically to cover the cost of nursing care (only) provided by a registered nurse in a nursing home facility. FNC is paid tax-free and is not means-tested.
Remember: You should ALWAYS be assessed for NHS Continuing Healthcare BEFORE you’re assessed for FNC.
Have a look at our blog: Have you considered NHS-Funded Nursing Care (FNC)?
Cutting through the confusion
Family representatives are often confused between the fine dividing line over social care vs healthcare. Understanding the difference is critical in terms of who funds the cost of care.
Generally speaking, in simple terms:
- Social Services (your Local Authority) provides social care – which is means-tested – so your relative may be required to contribute to some or all of the cost of their care depending on the level of their assets and savings
- The NHS provides health/nursing care – which is not means-tested -and is free at the point of need
Unfortunately, most families don’t really understand the difference between social needs and healthcare needs, and so, often wrongly assume that their relative’s needs must be healthcare needs (because how else could they survive), when in fact they’re entirely social needs (or even, perhaps, a combination of both).
Although there is no definition of social care needs, it is often thought of as needing help with ‘activities of daily living’ or assisting someone to maintain social interaction and their independence, or preventing them from coming to harm in vulnerable situations. For example, getting help with dressing, mobility, washing, feeding and toileting etc.
If your relative has health needs then make sure that any ‘assessment’, is an assessment to determine eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare (ie free care) and conducted in accordance with the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care (revised October 2018), and not a Local Authority financial assessment which is means-tested (and could result in your relative self-funding all of their care).
Beware: Don’t get caught in the middle. Even when healthcare needs may be obvious, the NHS might still try to push you down the Local Authority route for financial assessment just to save funds coming out their budget, and vice versa! If your relative has a Primary Health Need, insist on a CHC assessment!
How to get the NHS to pay for care
Having to choose a care home, negotiate the care ‘system’, understand care fees and figure out what to do next can be very difficult, and many families feel confused and exasperated.
Care To Be Different can help by showing you what should and shouldn’t happen.
How To Get The NHS To Pay For Care is an easy-to-follow, practical e-book (now also available in handy paperback) that helps you cut through the confusion and claim what you’re entitled to.
“We have heard today that my mother-in-law is to receive NHS Continuing Care funding. We could not have done it without your book and website. Thank you so much.” Ian Johnson
“Everything you said would happen did happen.” (further feedback on How To Get The NHS To Pay For Care)
Julia C, “Yesterday I received notification that my CHC application for my relative has been successful. I bought and studied your excellent book before the MDT. Without this, I am sure the outcome would have been different. It was invaluable, many thanks.”
Michelle Wetherall, “Yet another excellent article from CTBD. Thank you! Without this website I would have struggled for information and support during the appeal process for my late father.”
Please help us to spread the word, as much more still needs to be done to help families secure this vital source of NHS funding where it is rightfully due!