Changes in relation to the Coronavirus Act 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care has issued new guidance in relation to NHS Continuing Healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see Reintroduction of NHS Continuing Healthcare.

1. Introduction

Continuing Healthcare is care arranged and funded by the NHS, and provided to adults with ongoing healthcare needs.

It is free of charge, unlike care from adult social care for which there may be a charge, depending on the adult’s income and savings.

It can be provided in any setting, including a care home, nursing home, hospice or the home of the adult with the healthcare needs. It will cover the person’s care home fees (including board and accommodation), personal care (help with bathing, dressing and laundry for example) and healthcare costs (community nursing or specialist therapy services for example). For adults living at home, it will cover their personal care and healthcare costs.

2. Eligibility

To be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, the adult must be assessed as having:

  • a ‘primary health need’; and
  • a complex medical condition with substantial and ongoing care needs.

Not everyone with a disability or long term health condition meets these conditions.

If the person is not eligible for continuing healthcare funding, the local authority may be responsible for assessing their care and support needs and providing services if they are eligible to receive such services. If the adult is not eligible for NHS continuing healthcare but are assessed as having healthcare or nursing needs, they may still receive some care from the NHS. For an adult who lives in their own home, this may be provided as part of a joint package of care and support, where some services come from the NHS and some from adult social care services.

If the adult moves into a nursing home, the NHS may contribute towards their nursing care costs. Once eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, care will be funded by the NHS but this is subject to review, should care needs change the funding arrangements may also change. If a person’s needs change so that it seems that their needs may be primarily for health care a continuing care assessment should be arranged.

3. Equipment

Adults who are eligible for fully funded NHS continuing healthcare should have access to joint equipment services, where appropriate, the equipment provided, however, will be funded by the NHS.