By Rosalind Hughes, founder, Just Caring Legal
NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments should never happen behind closed doors. No matter the circumstances, people have the right to be present at their own assessments. And their representatives – family or professional – have the right to be in the room too. This may or may not include legal advisors. The NHS Continuing Healthcare system was never designed to be adversarial. But sadly, that is what it has become. The truth is, NHS Continuing Healthcare expert help can make a big difference to outcomes. Many of our clients have struggled along on their own for quite a while before deciding they need professional guidance and support. You can read some of their stories here.
Being present at an NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment is no guarantee you will get the right outcome
The NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment process is immensely complicated and detailed. People often find themselves overwhelmed, and struggle to put forward effective arguments to make the strongest case. Many people miss out on the funding they are entitled to. Not because they don’t have a primary health need. But because the system seems to make it as hard as possible for them to argue their case successfully.
Why is it so hard to get NHS Continuing Healthcare funding?
NHS Continuing Healthcare funding pays for all the health and social care care costs of anyone who has a ‘primary health need’. But the unfortunate truth is that there is no clear single definition of what a primary health need is. Assessors should look at the total care needs the person has – their intensity, complexity and unpredictability. But this leaves the assessment process for NHS Continuing Healthcare open to interpretation. It is just too easy to ignore or downplay people’s care needs. Additionally, NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups have targets for saving money from their NHS Continuing Healthcare budgets. The result is a system that militates against people getting the funding they deserve. People have to jump through ever more hoops to prove that they should have the free care. Many thousands of people who apply for NHS Continuing Healthcare each year fail to receive it. In fact, the system is so difficult to navigate that a legal campaign is bringing a Judicial Review. You can read more about what it calls the NHS Continuing Healthcare “scandal” here.
How expert advice and guidance can make a difference to outcomes
With the system stacked against you, you need to do everything you can to maximise your chances of success. An advocate with medico-legal expertise can fight to ensure a fair hearing of your case. We will make sure your assessors consider the full range and extent of primary health need(s). And we will ensure everyone involved follows the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare to the letter.
At Just Caring Legal, we understand the difficulties that families face during what is often such an all-consuming time. And we know many people have deep concerns that come with trying to access legal support – such as cost. This is why we offer a free initial assessment of your case. We will listen with care and compassion to your story. Then we can assess the merits of your case and discuss what, if anything, we can do to help. This could vary from writing a detailed letter to providing representation in vital meetings.
Here at Just Caring Legal, we have many years of experience advocating for families to ensure they can access the care funding they are entitled to. You can read our testimonials here. We dedicate our business to ensuring families have the best chance of accessing free NHS care if they are entitled to it. So contact Just Caring Legal today and speak to us about your situation and how our NHS Continuing Healthcare expert help can maximise your chances of success.