We receive a large number of calls from relatives who are not sure if their loved ones’ condition means they should be receiving FREE NHS funded Continuing Health Care.
These people are, quite rightly, angry that their elderly relatives have worked hard all their lives and paid their taxes – yet, in their hour of need, they are having to fight to secure non-means tested care.
At Steene Law, we agree with you. It IS unfair and in some cases CHC funding decisions made by people in authority, who should know better, are wrong and unlawful.
Here are just some of the typical questions we are asked, along with our advice. If you have any concerns about CHC funding, we are here to help – just pick up the phone and call us on 0203 653 0625 or complete a Free Online Enquiry and we will be delighted to help you.
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Yes – absolutely. Sadly, we come across this situation a lot. A person who has previously been denied CHC may well qualify for free care, paid for entirely by the NHS. But you’ll need to fight for it. The CHC process can be confusing so to make sure you know the facts – and your rights – call us first and we’ll be happy to help.
Sadly it may be the case – although it’s certainly worth investigating whether she might qualify for other health reasons. The problem currently is that the NHS does not recognise dementia as an illness in the same way as heart disease and cancer (both of which qualify for CHC funding). If you think that’s unfair – we agree with you.
Currently the NHS is under pressure to change the way it unfairly discriminates against people with dementia. Until that happens, don’t just assume that your mum won’t qualify for CHC funding. She may have other health issues which might lead to her receiving free care. Call us and we can investigate whether or not she might qualify.
CHC at the time – is it too late?
It’s certainly not too late. You may think that a CHC assessment would have automatically been carried out at the time of your relative’s discharge. It’s what’s supposed to happen but we frequently hear of cases where the assessment has either not happened at all or it’s been carried out incorrectly.
Also, don’t forget that your relative’s heath could have changed since her discharge so it’s worth asking for her to be assessed foe CHC again. Don’t be fobbed if you are told ‘no.’ Your relative has the right to be assessed – call the team at Steene Law and we’ll you what you need to do next.
You need to request an urgent CHC assessment of your Dad. It may be that he was never assessed for CHC when he first moved into the care home. Or at the time, he may only have been eligible for the nursing care element but his health has since declined and he might now be eligible for CHC which would cover the costs of all his care fees.. Either way, it’s worth investigating. Call us first and we’ll tell you what you need to do.
That’s not the case – your aunt may well qualify if she has something called a primary heath need – meaning that most of her care is nursing care rather than just needing help with getting dressed, help with mealtimes etc (which is known as ‘social care needs’)
The important thing to remember is that CHC is NOT means tested, so it doesn’t matter what money your aunt has, the decision ‘should’ be taken based on her health needs.
We say ‘should’ because we know that CHC assessments are not always fairly or correctly carried out. If you’ve not yet applied for CHC funding, call us first and we can help you avoid the pitfalls, so that your aunt has a better chance of being correctly assessed.
The care fees are bleeding her savings dry. How can I check if she was ever considered for CHC funding?
Social services will have kept a record of all the assessments they ever carried out to decide the package of care your relative was entitled to. If you have a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare you can ask to see these documents. If not, your aunt is entitled to see her records.
However, your relative’s health may, in any case, have deteriorated to a point where she is now entitled to CHC. Either way, give us a call and we can get the ball rolling. We can check if a CHC assessment was ever carried out and help you to apply for a new assessment.
The good news is that CHC funding is available to people with a primary health need, regardless of whether they live in their own homes or in a residential home, so this is not a barrier to apply for free funding. Remember it’s not means tested either – you just need to prove that your dad meets the criteria for CHC funding. The reality is that’s easier said than done.
Cash-strapped local Clinical Commissioning Groups (the local NHS group responsible for CHC assessments) often do not follow the rules and an unfair postcode lottery currently exists. This shouldn’t happen but we are aware that some people are wrongly denied CHC when they in fact qualify.
Should your relative apply for CHC funding?
If you have ticked any of the boxes, you need to contact the team at Steene Law and we can help you fight for CHC funding.
We are available from 8am to 7pm, 365 days of the year and will explain your options including how you can fight an unfair LPA challenge.
“I cannot thank David and Dianne enough for the effort and knowledge they displayed helping me deal with my Grandfather’s care and the subsequent legal battle that came with it.
I had a complicated and, to me, bizarre yet worrying situation that David and Dianne both worked tirelessly on.
My Grandfather was a WWII veteran and was neglected and treated as a statistic by a care home and a rather unforgiving council.
I’m grateful that David and Dianne not only got the result I needed, but made it simple to understand and took away a lot of stress. I have recommended them to many others and will continue to do so. Forever grateful!”