By Rosalind Hughes, founder, Just Caring Legal
How would you describe your personal experience of the NHS Continuing Healthcare system to date? Unlawful? Unjust? Inhumane? All of the above? The good folks at the NHS Continuing Healthcare judicial review campaign decided to collate all the descriptions their campaign supporters have given of their NHS CHC “journey” to date. Then they published them in a graph on their Facebook page.
Unfair, corrupt, disgraceful – and that’s just for starters
Top place goes to “Unfair/not fair”. No surprise there. We know that NHS Continuing Healthcare is a postcode lottery. People in Salford are nearly 20 times as likely to receive it as those in South Reading, according to the excellent statistics compiled by the judicial review. This is not down to means-testing. NHS Continuing Healthcare should be available to all those who have a primary health need, regardless of assets. But since 2015, around 50,000 people have been unfairly and unlawfully denied the funding they were entitled to. That amounts to a financial loss of between £2.5 billon and £5 billion overall.
Flawed – that’s a word we use A LOT to describe the NHS Continuing Healthcare eligibility process
The process is designed to be fair and objective. It is based on a set of guidance, the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare. This sets out rules that local CCGs must have regard to when making decisions. Unfortunately, some CCGs appear to ignore it, or pay only lip service to it. Assessors sometimes downplay and marginalise real care needs while claiming to follow the rules. This means vulnerable people are deemed ineligible even when their care needs are clearly severe enough to qualify. It has caused distress and financial devastation to many thousands of old, ill and vulnerable people and their families. Many have been forced to sell their homes unnecessarily to pay for care. So when you put it like that, unfair and flawed doesn’t really begin to cover it.
However, hopeless it certainly isn’t. With forensic preparation and the right medico-legal arguments, assessments can and do succeed. This is where Just Caring Legal can help. With our specialist expertise and robust representation, we can ensure your case gets a fair hearing. And if you have been wrongly forced to pay for care, we can maximise your chances of getting your hard-earned money back.
If you have words about NHS Continuing Healthcare that you would like to get off your chest, give us a call
So get in touch today and tell us about your NHS Continuing Healthcare experience to date. We will listen and then give you our free initial assessment of your case. Leave nothing out, not even the expletives! We will give you our honest opinion, in plain English, of whether we can help. We will break the complexity down into words you can understand and then into actions you can follow to ensure your NHS CHC experience is a positive one.