NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) was established in 1995. The National Framework for NHS CHC was introduced to provide rules for assessing eligibility and the process for CHC. All NHS organisations and councils must follow the National Framework rules.
The National Framework includes an eligibility assessment tool which is used to assess if a person has a primary health need This depends on four factors - the nature, complexity, intensity and unpredictability of the need. A person might be eligible based on one type or level of need or several factors
If a person becomes eligible for NHS CHC funding, the NHS becomes responsible for funding all of their health and social care needs which may have previously been funded by the Council through direct payments. CHC funding is FREE. It is not affected by a person's income or savings.
A person must consent to the initial screening assessment and to any sharing of information between health and social care professionals. Under the Mental Capacity Act everyone must be assumed to have capacity and provided with any support they need to enable them to make decisions. A mental capacity test will be carried out where a person may not have capacity. A health or care professional can make a "best interest" decision where a person does not have mental capacity. Consent can be withdrawn at any time through the CHC assessment process. Consent and capacity must be checked at each stage of the process. Please see related pages on the right of this page for further information about Mental Capacity.
The National Framework has two tools to assess eligibility for CHC funding:
Checklist Tool to assess if a person should have a full CHC assessment
Decision Support Tool to carry out a full assessment and make a recommendation on eligibility.
Both involve health and care professionals involved in the person's care. They are required to carry out assessments in a "person centre" way, i.e. look at a person's whole life - not just their health needs.
A care package will be commissioned once a person has been assessed as eligible for CHC funding. Any existing care package provided by the Council will continue until the CHC funded care is in place.
The NHS reviews each person receiving CHC funding after 3 months and then every 12 months.