NHS Continuing Healthcare
What is NHS continuing healthcare?
NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) is a package of care provided outside of hospital. It is arranged and funded by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) for people aged 18 years and over who have significant ongoing healthcare needs and have been assessed as having a ‘primary health need’.
People who are assessed for CHC include those who need a very high level of support.
Some people may be reaching the end of their lives, or have long-term conditions as a result of a disability, accident or illness. When someone is assessed as eligible for CHC, their local CCG is responsible for funding their full package of health and social care.
This means that the CCG will find suitable care to meet someone's assessed needs. The CCG will always try to meet the patient and family’s preferences for the type and place of care provided and where possible will give options and choices that best match what people and their carers want.
What is a primary health need?
There is no legal definition of what constitutes a ‘primary health need’. However, a key court judgment, known as the Coughlan case, set a precedent for when someone’s healthcare needs are beyond the responsibilities of local authorities and should be paid for by the NHS.
What does it mean?
If someone is assessed as eligible for continuing healthcare, the CCG funds the full package of health and social care. For example, if a patient is eligible for CHC in their own home, the CCG will pay for healthcare costs (such as services from a community nurse or specialist therapist) and for associated social care costs (such as personal care and help with bathing). In a care home, the CCG also pays for people’s care home fees, including board and accommodation.
How likely is it for someone to be assessed as eligible for CHC?
The completion of the CHC checklist does not indicate that someone may be eligible for CHC and less than 1 in 3 of those who pass the initial screening will be assessed as eligible for CHC.
To find out more about who is eligible, click here.
If you would like to feedback your experience of the continuing healthcare service please complete our survey here