A multi-disciplinary team carries out an assessment to inform the decision about whether an individual has a primary health need. If the Checklist Tool establishes that you are eligible for a full assessment for NHS continuing healthcare, your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) must arrange a full assessment of your care needs. It should assemble a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) specifically for this purpose. The National Framework says you should receive a full funding eligibility decision within 28 days of a positive checklist.
The MDT should consist of two professionals from different healthcare professions or one professional from the healthcare profession and one person responsible for assessing individuals for community care services. It should include professionals who have an up-to-date knowledge of your needs, potential, and aspirations. This may include GPs, dietitians, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and many other kinds of professionals involved in your care. It should not include finance officers – the MDT should decide on care needs only, regardless of budgetary considerations.
What is the Decision Support Tool (DST)?
The ‘DST’ is the Decision Support Tool stage, which is a full assessment carried about by the multi-disciplinary team. This assessment focuses upon health needs, and effectively ranks different criteria. There is a list of 12 elements/domains that should be evaluated during the DST. This includes examining someone’s level of mobility and cognition, as well as other potential primary health needs.
However, while the DST is a complete assessment of a person’s needs, it is not designed to be used as singularly. The outcome should not depend solely on the DST. This is because the DST is supposed to be used in conjunction with a full assessment of the nature, intensity, complexity and unpredictability of the primary health needs in accordance with the National Framework.
What can go wrong at this stage?
Unfortunately, errors can occur at this stage and these mistakes can cause people to be deemed ineligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. The primary health needs can be classified wrongly, there may be issues with documentation, medical records may not be complete and this can impact on the full assessment and sometimes, people are not specifically trained may be part of the multi-disciplinary team despite what is best practice.
Any mistakes at this stage can severely impact the chances of being found eligible for full care funding through NHS Continuing Healthcare. However, not only can these mistakes occur but they might go unnoticed too. It’s important that the process is as transparent as possible, and that all parties are involved.
How Just Caring Legal can maximise your chances of success.
Just Caring Legal can ensure that the process is conducted properly, and that all of the right procedures are followed as well as making sure that the primary health need is categorised and assessed correctly. Roz can minimise the chances of mistakes, and this can make all of the difference to the outcome. The worst-case scenario for people who go through the process alone is that they say that they feel that the full extent of their needs haven’t been taken into account and that they must appeal the decision when they are not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. This takes time and can be incredibly costly while people pay for care in the meantime. It is by far better to make your case as strong as you can early on in the process. Rosalind can help you do just that, and guide you through what is often a complex and stressful experience.