NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding is a fully-funded package of health and social care for people with complex and severe needs. The care package is funded entirely by the NHS. You can find a more detailed overview from the Age Space Guide to NHS Funded Care.
Eligibility for Continuing Healthcare Funding is set nationally, but assessed in Buckinghamshire by the Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The process of applying for Continuing Healthcare Funding is very rigorous, and the majority of people that apply for it are rejected. It can also be a lengthy process. There is also a charity called Beacon that can assist with Continuing Healthcare Funding applications, including filling out paperwork and discussing concerns about eligibility. You can contact the free Beacon NHS Continuing Healthcare Information and Advice Service on 0345 548 0300.
How to Apply for NHS continuing healthcare funding in Buckinghamshire
Eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding in Buckinghamshire is assessed by the NHS Buckinghamshire CCG. Your relative’s application is a 2 step-process: an initial assessment by any medical professional, followed by an interdisciplinary assessment by the CCG’s assessment team.
The first thing that you should do if you think your relative may be eligible for Continuing Healthcare Funding is to speak to a medical professional involved in your relative’s care. They will be able to carry out an initial screening.
Step 1: Initial Screening
The first stage in applying for NHS Continuing Healthcare is an initial screening assessment, based on a checklist. This checklist assessment can be carried out by any medical professional, in a range of settings e.g. GP’s surgery or in an individual’s home. The NHS checklist is available for you to read online.
If the medical professional carrying out this initial screening thinks that your relative may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding, they will refer them for a multidisciplinary assessment from the NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Step 2: Multidisciplinary Assessment
The NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will carry out the assessment of your relative’s eligibility. The assessment looks at the nature, complexity, intensity and unpredictability of your relative’s condition. If the assessors can identify 1 ‘priority need’, or 2 ‘severe needs’, then your relative is likely to be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding in Buckinghamshire. The team will use the NHS framework Decision Support Toolkit to inform their decision.
If you want to contact the NHS Buckinghamshire Continuing Healthcare Team you can telephone them on 01865 902 861 or email them at oxfordhealth.buckschcreferrals@.nhs.net
Appealing a NHS Continuing Healthcare Decision in Buckinghamshire
If you are unhappy or confused at any point of the process you can contact Beacon CHC for independent advice regarding NHS Continuing Healthcare. The first step for appeals is a Local Resolution, where the Buckinghamshire team will work with you to try and resolve any concerns you have. This stage can take up to 6 months. If you are still unhappy with the outcome, you will be directed to request an Independent Review. You must do this within 6 months of the Local Resolution being completed. To do this, write to Continuing Healthcare Manager (South Region), NHS England, South West House, Blackbrook Park Avenue, Taunton, TA1 2PX, outlining what you think was wrong within the process and why you feel there should be another assessment.
If you remain unhappy with the outcome contact he Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP. You can also call them on 0345 015 4033. They will review the process and recommend the nexts steps.