By Rosalind Hughes, founder, Just Caring Legal
Make no mistake: applying for NHS Continuing Healthcare can be daunting. The process is full of technicalities, jargon and complexity. Those holding the purse strings can be obstructive or hard to get hold of. They may make decisions without consulting you, or deliberately ignore or downplay your testimony. In fact, the whole thing is so dysfunctional that a campaign is currently underway to seek judicial review of the NHS Continuing Healthcare system. It is seeking to highlight the “scandal” that many thousands of people have to fund their own long-term care when the NHS should be meeting these costs. However, no matter where you are in the application process, please don’t give up. Because NHS Continuing Healthcare success is possible. And there are a number of things you can do to strengthen your case. Here are our top tips for maximising your chances of NHS Continuing Healthcare success.
1. Do your research
Doing your research before you start the application process is so vital. Applying for NHS Continuing Healthcare can be hugely complex and it’s important to know what to expect – and also what makes a strong case. The better prepared you are for what lies ahead, the better your chances of success. A good place to start is our Just Caring Legal blog and factsheets. We have many posts looking at successful past cases and explaining aspects of the system in simple language.
2. Get in the room
You have the right to be involved in your assessment or that of your relative. NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments should never take place behind closed doors. As the person who knows your family member best, you have a right to be present – and to be listened to. Try and attend every meeting that you can. Gather evidence and make notes, then insist on getting your points across. This can make a huge difference to your chances of success.
3. Write everything down
Collect all of the documentation you can (including medical records) that provides evidence of your relative’s care needs. Ensure records are accurate, complete and consistent. Also, take notes in every meeting and discussion that you are part of. Even elements of meetings which can seem trivial can make a difference later, so make a record of everything.
4. Consider legal representation
Legal representation can help strengthen your case. An expert advocate can create robust arguments and maximise your chances of NHS Continuing Healthcare success. Here at Just Caring Legal, we specialise in NHS Continuing Healthcare. Every day, we fight for families to ensure they can access the care funding they are entitled to. So if you have any questions about NHS Continuing Healthcare, contact us today.