Many people consider using a solicitor for NHS Continuing Healthcare battles
…because going through the Continuing Healthcare application and appeal process can be exhausting.
So what are the relative merits of using a solicitor vs. doing it yourself?
Having someone take the load off your shoulders and fight your corner on your behalf can be a huge relief. Solicitors can provide a very valuable service in this respect. Your decision whether or not to instruct one may depend on what stage you’re at in the funding application process.
If you do need a solicitor for NHS Continuing Healthcare, follow the link at the bottom of the page.
Solicitors work in different ways: Some solicitors can help you through the process before the funding decision has been made. Others can help you appeal a funding decision afterwards – and many do that on a no-win-no-fee basis if there are care fees that can potentially be reclaimed. This can be a good option if you don’t have the energy to pursue it yourself, and you may be happy to pay the fees are involved to save you that stress and hassle.
Having an adviser or solicitor for NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments can help ‘encourage’ the assessors to stick to the assessment guidelines. Having someone in a legal capacity present, even if you do most of the talking, shows the assessors how serious you are – and that you’re unlikely to accept any nonsense.
5 things to remember if you do decide to instruct an adviser or solicitor for NHS Continuing Healthcare:
- Make sure they are specialists and understand NHS Continuing Healthcare inside out.
- Make sure also that they have an in-depth understanding not only of the established funding assessment guidelines (National Framework, Checklist, Decision Support Tool, etc – plus the Fast Track assessment process), but also the tactics the health and social care authorities may use to try to avoid providing funding.
- It’s a good idea to still attend funding assessments yourself even if you are using a solicitor. You may more easily pick up on inaccuracies and misstatements of fact – plus any errors in the care home notes.
- A solicitor can be a welcome sounding board when things happen along the way that you need a legal view on, and it’s often just good to know there’s someone on your side. It’s also good when that person is not afraid to ruffle a few feathers with the health and social care authorities to give you some extra clout.
- Only you will have the raw emotion that goes hand in hand with fighting for someone you love, and this can be a powerful thing. In addition (and similar to point 3 above), you will notice if your relative’s care needs are being interpreted incorrectly by assessors. This is a important reason for staying closely involved in the process at all times, and supporting the work your solicitor is doing as much as possible.
How to access one-to-one help for your individual case. We’ve recently got to know Farley Dwek Solicitors, and we like their approach. You can contact them for an initial chat about your case – free of charge. Read more here.