Who Can Receive NHS Continuing Healthcare?

The UK care system involves many different players, and adheres to a certain standardised set of guidelines. Depending on the type of long term care you require and your personal circumstances, you may receive state funded care from the NHS, the local council or a combination package. The NHS provides a service known as continuing health care for those that qualify to receive it. Let us consider how the NHS continuing healthcare system works.

Continuing healthcare is provided by the NHS outside a hospital setting (in your own home or a residential care home) and is also fully funded by the NHS. For those who are eligible to receive NHS funded continuing healthcare, the NHS will fully fund healthcare costs - for instance, paying for the services of nursing staff, specialist therapists, or personal carers.

While social care services provided by the local council are subject to your financial status and savings, the NHS continuing healthcare service is free irrespective of your circumstances. For this service your primary need for long term care must relate to your health. The eligibility test for NHS continuing care is stringent and involves a multi level analysis of an individual’s health status.

To be eligible for NHS continuing care, an individual must have a complex medical condition that requires care and assistance on an ongoing basis, from specialist providers including therapists and specialist nurses. The assessment is carried out by a qualified health care professional according to standardised guidelines developed by the NHS.

The assessment is not based on a specific illness or condition, but rather a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s needs for care as per different factors such as mobility, nutrition and behaviour. In order to qualify it is important to ascertain that your primary need for care relates to your health.

The procedure involves an initial checklist assessment followed by a more involved and detailed analysis of your health care needs. Long term care may include certain components that fall under NHS continuing care, and others that do not. Care for rapidly deteriorating conditions and end of life care are also generally included in NHS continuing healthcare services.

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• What is Long Term Care?

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Long Term care advice is also available from Independent Financial Advisers such as these:

SOLLA • Society of Later Life Advisers
Information on NHS Care
Carers UK