“The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS have grossly violated the human rights of some of the most vulnerable people in society…with many being unlawfully forced to sell their homes when their care should be funded by the NHS.” So says the former head of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, Rear Admiral Philip Mathias. He is a man on a mission. After facing the fight of his life to get NHS Continuing Healthcare funding for his late mother, he is now taking the government to court to gain NHS CHC justice for all.
Like so many who take on the battle for NHS CHC funding, he fought for months. He sent over one hundred letters and emails, sat through interminable meetings and devoted all his mental energy to it. He never gave up. Sadly, as with so many people we speak to, his mother passed away before receiving the funding she was entitled to. But eventually Rear Admiral Mathias received NHS CHC justice in the form of a refund of £200,000 in care fees that should never have been paid.
“One of the biggest scandals in modern history”
Patients requiring care due to a primary health need should have their care fees paid for in full by the NHS. Unlike local authority care, NHS CHC is not means tested and must meet the full cost of essential care. However, in reality NHS CHC is a postcode lottery, with the chances of securing the funding varying hugely between areas. Also, there are many flaws in the process for assessing eligibility.
Rear Admiral Mathias believes the denial of NHS CHC justice is “one of the biggest government scandals of modern history”. The sheer scale of the unlawful financial deprivation he uncovered won’t let him rest. As he says, the NHS was established “to alleviate suffering, not to create it”. So now he is launching legal proceedings against the government and the NHS. He intends to force them to fix the injustices and refund NHS CHC to those who were entitled to it. A “reasonable assumption” is that the NHS could be liable for £5 billion in NHS CHC back payments.
He seems to have plenty of support, too. His Crowdfunded appeal for judicial review funds reached its initial £30,000 target in just eight days, allowing his lawyers to complete the first formal submission to the courts.
In the meantime, the battle goes on
As his two-year battle for NHS CHC proved, Rear Admiral Mathias is not a quitter. We hope he will take this all the way. But in the meantime, the injustices continue. We know many families are still going through the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking process of trying to claim the care funding their relatives are entitled to. They may be battling dementia, Parkinson’s, MS, the effects of stroke or cancer. Often NHS assessors downplay or just flat-out deny their primary health need. In our experience, many are funnelled down the means-test route without any discussion of non-means-tested NHS CHC funding ever taking place. This is illegal: the NHS guidance on CHC says patients’ primary health needs must be assessed before any discussions about means or ability to pay for care.
NHS CHC is worth fighting for – and we can help
The big takeaway from Rear Admiral Mathias’ story is this: NHS CHC is a right worth fighting for. While his mother never got to see the funding her son won back from the NHS, he managed to recover £200,000 for her estate.
But let’s face it: we’re not all retired nuclear scientists. We haven’t all got the time, energy or cognitive bandwidth to take on this sort of fight. So if the battle feels too big, the opposition too obstructive, then pick up the phone. Here at Just Caring Legal, our specialty is smashing through walls of medico-legal jargon and red tape. We are experts at challenging those responsible for organising and funding care. In fact, our whole business is dedicated to getting the right NHS CHC decisions. We achieve financial justice for our clients by taking on and cutting through the system’s nuclear-grade complexity. So why not call us today or, if you prefer, contact us by email at any time.
Rear Admiral Mathias eventually received justice for his family. Maybe you can too.