The biggest myth about care fees is that you always have to sell your home to pay for care…….
For people with serious medical conditions, there exists a little-known and, it appears little publicised, potential source of financial support, NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC).
In England, whether or not you pay for full time care does not depend on how much money you have or whether you own a house. It depends instead on your health and nursing care needs. People who need full time care and who have health needs may be eligible for Continuing Healthcare funding. This is NHS funding. There is an assessment process to go through. If found eligible for Continuing Healthcare, a person’s care costs will be met in full by the NHS. Funding includes the cost of accommodation in a care home.
As the availability is little publicised, some families are not aware of NHS Continuing Healthcare funding.
One of the fundamental principles of a Continuing Healthcare assessment is that the underlying health and care needs are assessed, not the needs as they appear once they’re managed.
Many thousands of people that suffer from Dementia and who may be eligible are currently paying for care. Dementia is too often seen as a natural part of ageing, with patients having the same sort of personal needs that many elderly people have anyway yet dementia causes a range of complex health needs that are listed as qualifying criteria for CHC funding.
It is the responsibility of staff in acute care to assess patients as they leave hospital, and make them aware that they could qualify for this funding but that is not routinely done because of the widespread lack of awareness among medical staff. As things stand, the CCGs are acting as judge and jury when it comes to decisions over CHC funding.
The assessment process can be an emotional and difficult time for patients and their families. At WBW, Advocacy services are provided with the best interests of the individuals at the forefront of concern ensuring that there is fairness and equity as detailed within the National Framework.
If you or a loved one has been affected by the issue raised in this article, please contact us and we would be pleased to assist you.