What is NHS Continuing HealthCare?

NHS Continuing Health careMany older people are forced into paying for their care because no one told them about NHS Continuing Healthcare.


NHS Continuing Healthcare is care paid for by the NHS, not by a local authority. If you qualify for this level of support then all of your care costs are paid by the NHS wherever you are living.

Who qualifies for NHS Continuing Healthcare?

To find out if you qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare you must first undergo an assessment. The assessment process starts with a Checklist completed by a health or social care professional. If you meet a minimum number of scores on the Checklist you will then be invited to proceed to a full assessment.

The purpose of the assessment is to decide if your health care needs are sufficiently severe for you to qualify for 100% of your care costs being paid for by the NHS. Sometimes this is called Fully Funded NHS Care for that reason.

If you are assessed as having a ‘primary health need’ you will qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare.

Why don’t more people get NHS Continuing Healthcare?

There are many reasons why more people don’t receive NHS funding for their care:

  1. The process is complicated;
  2. NHS Continuing Healthcare is often refused following an assessment.

You can find out more about why people are missing out on NHS Continuing Healthcare here

Read on to find out why you should apply…

Is NHS Continuing Healthcare only for nursing homes?

A person’s right to receive NHS Continuing Healthcare is assessed only on their health situation. Their finances and the type of accommodation they live in are not assessed.

The funding covers all of their care needs, so that includes the cost of their accommodation if they are live in a care home. If they live in their own home it covers the cost of their personal care such as bathing, dressing etc and household expenses that relate directly to their care.

Residential accommodation can either be in a nursing home or a residential home. It is not restricted just to residents of nursing homes.

Is a continuing healthcare assessment the same as a local authority assessment?

Most people’s experience of care assessments is an assessment by their local authority. Their local authority will assess the person to see if they have care needs that the local authority has a duty to support.

The local authority will then decide if the person should pay for their own care (‘means-testing’). But remember, this is not the same as a continuing healthcare assessment carried out by the NHS.

Unfortunately, because in most cases, a financial assessment is carried out by the local authority first, a lot of people find themselves paying for their own care without having had an NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment of their healthcare needs.

A healthcare assessment must come first

In fact, it is the healthcare needs that should be assessed first. The healthcare assessment is to establish whether the person has a primary healthcare need. If they do then it will be the responsibility of the NHS to pay for the person’s care and there is no need for a local authority financial assessment.

What if an NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment is incorrect?

Unfortunately, the assessments for NHS Continuing Healthcare are quite often incorrect. The consequence of an incorrect assessment is devastating. The NHS care funding is refused.

It is important to remember that only you and your family really understand your healthcare needs and professionals involved in a care assessment usually have only a short amount of time in which to assess you. It is therefore not surprising that mistakes are often made.

What can you do to challenge a decision about NHS Continuing Healthcare?

If you think that you have been wrongly refused NHS Continuing Healthcare you can ask for the assessment to be reviewed. Many people do challenge the NHS about CHC decisions and succeed. The worst thing you can do is give up before you’ve even started.

How can we help?

Barker Evans Private Client Law is a specialist law firm with expertise in social care issues. Find out more about how we can support you through an NHS Continuing Healthcare appeal. See our Care and Disability Services

  • Have you got a question about NHS Continuing Healthcare?
  • Do you want to know how to plan for later life care?
  • Have you got concerns about a care home or social services?

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