NHS Continuing Healthcare


In this section you will find information on Islington Clinical Commissioning Group’s Continuing Healthcare service and team including:

If you would like the information on this website in another language or format, please contact: islington.ccg@nhs.net

 

 

What is 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 give options and choices that best match the patient and family’s preferences for the type and place of care provided.

Watch some videos which explain the Continuing Healthcare process

Who is eligible for NHS continuing healthcare?

NHS continuing healthcare is for adults (18 and over). To be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, you must be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals (a multidisciplinary team). The team will look at all your care needs and relate them to:

  • what help you need
  • how complex your needs are
  • how intense your needs can be
  • how unpredictable they are, including any risks to your health if the right care isn't provided at the right time
  • The nature of your needs

Your eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare depends on your assessed needs, and not on any particular diagnosis or condition. If your needs change then your eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare may change.

You should be fully involved in the assessment process and kept informed of your views, your needs and any support you require.

A decision about eligibility for a full assessment for NHS continuing healthcare should usually be made within 28 days of an initial assessment or request for a full assessment.

If you aren't eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, you can be referred to your local council who can discuss with you whether you may be eligible for support from them.

If you still have some health needs then the NHS may pay for part of the package of support. This is sometimes known as a "joint package" of care.

Further information about eligibility can be found in the national framework for NHS continuing healthcare

NHS continuing healthcare assessments

Clinical commissioning groups, known as CCGs (the NHS organisations that commission local health services), must assess you for NHS continuing healthcare if it seems that you may need it.

For most people, there's an initial checklist assessment, which is used to decide if you need a full assessment. This is called a screening tool checklist. However, if you need care urgently – for example, if you're terminally ill or have a condition which is rapidly deteriorating – your assessment may be fast-tracked.

Initial assessment for NHS continuing healthcare

The initial checklist assessment can be completed by a nurse, doctor, other healthcare professional or social worker. You should be told that you're being assessed, and be asked for your consent.

Depending on the outcome of the checklist, you'll either be told that you don't meet the criteria for a full assessment of NHS continuing healthcare and are therefore not eligible, or you'll be referred for a full assessment of eligibility.

Being referred for a full assessment doesn't necessarily mean you'll be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare. The purpose of the checklist is to enable anyone who might be eligible to have the opportunity for a full assessment.

The professional(s) completing the checklist should record in writing the reasons for their decision, sign and date it. You should be given a copy of the completed checklist.

You can download a blank copy of the NHS continuing healthcare checklist from GOV.UK.

Full assessment for NHS continuing healthcare

Full assessments for NHS continuing healthcare are undertaken by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) made up of a minimum of 2 professionals from different healthcare professions. The team should usually include both health and social care professionals who are already involved in your care.

You should be informed about who is co-ordinating the NHS continuing healthcare assessment.

The team's assessment will consider your needs under the following headings:

  • breathing
  • nutrition (food and drink)
  • continence
  • skin (including wounds and ulcers)
  • mobility
  • communication
  • psychological and emotional needs
  • cognition (understanding)
  • behaviour
  • drug therapies and medication
  • altered states of consciousness
  • other significant care needs

These needs are given a weighting marked "priority", "severe", "high", "moderate", "low" or "no needs".

If you have at least one priority need, or severe needs in at least 2 areas, you can usually expect to be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare.

You may also be eligible if you have a severe need in one area plus a number of other needs, or a number of high or moderate needs, depending on their nature, intensity, complexity or unpredictability.

In all cases, the overall patient need(s), and interactions between needs, will be taken into account, together with evidence from risk assessments, in deciding whether NHS continuing healthcare should be provided.

The assessment should take into account your views and the views of any carers you have. You should be given a copy of the decision documents, along with clear reasons for the decision.

You can download a blank copy of the NHS continuing healthcare decision support tool.

Fast-track assessment for NHS continuing healthcare

If your health is deteriorating quickly and you're nearing the end of your life, you should be considered for the NHS continuing healthcare fast-track pathway, so that an appropriate care and support package can be put in place as soon as possible – usually within 48 hours.

Care and support planning

If you're eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, the next stage is to arrange a care and support package that meets your assessed needs.

Depending on your situation, different options could be suitable, including support in your own home, care in a care home and the option of a personal health budget (PHB) so you can arrange your care.

If it's agreed that a care home is the best option for you, there could be more than one local care home that's suitable.

We do not have many care homes in Islington. We will endeavour to find you a care home in the borough. However, you are likely to be placed in a care home outside of Islington.

Islington CCG will work collaboratively with you to consider your views when agreeing your care, your support package and the setting where it will be provided. However, we can also take other factors into account, such as your assessed needs as opposed to wants, and the cost and value for money of different options. The CCG has a duty to ensure that public funds are used carefully to meet the needs of all patients.

Refunds for delays in NHS continuing healthcare funding

Islington CCG will normally make a decision about eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare within 28 days of getting a completed checklist or request for a full assessment, unless there are circumstances beyond its control.

If the CCG decides you're eligible, but takes longer than 28 days to decide this and the delay is unjustifiable, your costs will be refunded on the 29th day of the month.

If you're not eligible for NHS continuing healthcare

If you're not eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, but you're assessed as requiring nursing care in a care home (in other words, a care home that's registered to provide nursing care) you'll be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care.

This means that the NHS will pay a contribution towards the cost of your registered nursing care. NHS-funded nursing care is available irrespective of who is funding the rest of the care home fees.

Read more information about NHS continuing healthcare.

NHS continuing healthcare reviews

If you're eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, your needs and support package will normally be reviewed within 3 months and thereafter at least annually. This review will consider whether your existing care and support package meets your assessed needs. If your needs have changed, the review will also consider whether you're still eligible for NHS continuing healthcare. 

Islington CCG’s Continuing Healthcare Service

Islington CCG commissions continuing healthcare jointly with Islington Council. There are three teams responsible for the delivery of continuing healthcare in Islington:

  • The CHC Clinical Team carries out assessments to determine if they are eligible for continuing healthcare. The team also provides regular reviews of people receiving continuing healthcare. 
  • The CHC Resource Team sources and puts in place care packages in people’s homes, nursing homes and other settings following determination of eligibility for continuing healthcare. 
  • The CHC Commissioning Team is responsible for the financial management of continuing healthcare, including contract monitoring and quality assurance. The team is also responsible for managing payments to providers and for setting indicative budgets for those in receipt of Personal Health Budgets (PHB). 

The Clinical Team and the Resource Team are based at Whittington Health who we commission to provide a number of clinical functions related to continuing healthcare.

Whittington Health delivers the service via two teams:

  • Continuing Health Care Nursing team.
  • District Nursing team.

How to contact us

To find out how to request an assessment of eligibility and apply for continuing healthcare, please contact the Whittington Health CHC team:

  • We are based on 1st Floor, Hornsey Rise Health Centre. Beaumont Rise. Hornsey Rise. London. N19 3YU.
  • Our telephone numbers are: 020 3316 8706 / 020 3316 8661.
  • Our email address is: continuingcare3@nhs.net 
  • Our team can be contacted Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.

What you can expect from us

We will:

  • Make a decision on eligibility for a full assessment within 28 days of receiving a positive checklist – we aim to do this for every checklist we receive but our target is to make a decision on 80% of cases within 28 days.
  • Make a decision on fast track cases within 48 hours of receiving a referral.
  • Respond to a request for setting up a care package within 24 hours.
  • Acknowledge any appeals within 5 working days and process the full appeal within 90 days.

Our policies

Islington Continuing Healthcare Policy

This policy describes the way in which Islington CCG will make provision for the care of people who have been assessed as eligible for fully funded NHS continuing healthcare (CHC). This document sets out the standard operating procedure, roles and responsibilities for staff working within the Islington CCG continuing healthcare clinical team.

Information and advice

The process involved in NHS continuing healthcare assessments can be complex. An organisation called Beacon gives free independent advice on NHS continuing healthcare. Visit the Beacon website or call the free helpline on 0345 548 0300.

Appeals process

If a patient or their carer is unhappy with the outcome of their CHC assessment they can ask the CCG to review their case. There are three stages to this process:

  1. The patient or their representative should contact the CHC team.
    The first stage of the process is to let us know why you are unhappy with the decision and give a clear rationale for your appeal. This should be submitted to the Islington CHC commissioning team in writing (by post or email) within 6 months of the date of the decision. 

    Post: 
    Bakison Kansinde
    Joint Commissioning Manager
    Continuing Healthcare
    NHS Islington CCG
    Laycock Professional Development Centre
    Laycock Street
    London  N1 1TH

    Email: continuingcare3@nhs.net 

    The CCG will acknowledge your appeal in writing within 5 working days, and has 90 days to complete the whole appeal process.
  1. Independent Review Panel
    Once the local review stage has been completed, the CCG should provide you with information about how to refer your case for an Independent Review Panel (IRP).

    This is done through the continuing healthcare department of NHS England.

    You should contact NHS England requesting an IRP to review a continuing healthcare decision, explaining that you have completed the local review process and briefly outlining your reasons for appeal.

    NHS England will send you a formal IRP request form to complete. The form will ask you to explain your reasons for requesting an IRP in more details, and will encourage you to specify any complaints you have about the process of assessment

    The NHS England London team can be contacted by:

    Karen Scarsbrook
    NHS England London Region
    Skipton House
    80 London Road
    London
    SE1 6LH

    Tel: 0113 8070816 
    Emailkaren.scarsbrook@nhs.net
  1. Complain to the ombudsman
    If a patient is unhappy with the outcome of the independent review, they can complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The ombudsman’s role is to decide whether decisions made by the NHS are in line with the national framework; it does not generally make judgements about whether the NHS has made the right decision. Contact details for the ombudsmen can be found here: https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

Further information about Continuing Healthcare

Here you can find some links to other websites or documents which you may find useful:

Funded nursing care

Funded Nursing Care (FNC) is a weekly payment made by the NHS to cover nursing care provided by a Registered Nurse.  FNC is only provided if you need nursing care within a care home setting. 

The nursing care contribution is paid directly to the care home by the NHS. If you pay your own care fees, this amount should be deducted from your bill. If you are funded by the local authority, this amount will be deducted from the fees paid to the care home.

Your nursing home will receive £165.56 per week, which is the figure set by the Department of Health for 2019/20 and it is reviewed each year.