If you’re ‘self funding’, does a social worker have to attend your NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment?
No. 17 in our series of 27 top tips on NHS Continuing Healthcare…
Some families report being told that a social worker/local authority representative doesn’t need to be involved in NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments for self funders.
In other words, if you’re paying for your own care at the moment, the local authority bears no responsibility for your fate when it comes to funding.
Is this true?
There are so many false assumptions bound up in this thinking, so let’s pick them apart with 7 easy points to remember:
1. Whether you’re currently self funding or not has nothing whatsoever to do with NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. Nothing at all.
2. NHS Continuing Healthcare is about your care needs ONLY – it’s nothing to do with your money, assets or whether you’re currently paying for your own care.
3. A local authority must be involved in NHS Continuing Healthcare funding decisions – because they must decide whether a person is above or below the limit for their own local authority (means tested) care.
4. If anyone tells you the local authority doesn’t need to be because you are self funding, not only are they completely wrong but they’ve failed to grasp the whole point of an NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment! (The point is to assess who pays for your care: you, the NHS or the local authority. Just because you’re paying care fees at the moment doesn’t mean you should be – and certainly doesn’t mean you’ll have to continue to pay.)
5. So if you’re told that a social worker doesn’t need to attend NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments for self funders, explain very firmly that this means the local authority will potentially be in an illegal position as a result. Why? Because the NHS may pass responsibility for care onto the local authority when in fact the NHS has a legal duty to cover the full cost of care.
6. Whether or not a person is currently paying for their own care (i.e. a so-called ‘self funder’) is of absolutely no relevance here.
7. It’s therefore vital that social workers (or local authority representatives) are involved in NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments for self funders.
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.