The pressure targets are placing on NHS Continuing Healthcare.
A recent report has cast doubt over the future of NHS Continuing Healthcare – and whether it will have to be adjusted due to a climate of austerity for the NHS. The report summarised:
“NHS England wants CCGs to make £855 million of efficiency savings in CHC and NHS-funded nursing care spending by 2020−21, but it is not clear how they can do this without either increasing the threshold of those assessed as eligible, or by limiting the care packages available, both of which will ultimately put patient safety at risk.”
What this means.
Many people aren’t claiming NHS Continuing Healthcare funding when they may be eligible, simply because there isn’t information about it. People just don’t know about support for healthcare fees. The report also found, for example, that only 3% of people were made aware about the funding from their GP. A GP is often the first ‘port of call’ and would be informing people about their healthcare options. This means that many people are missing out on the funding – yet, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are still being told to make cuts, despite the fact that less is already being paid out than perhaps should be.
With that trajectory in mind, it seems almost inevitable that the criteria for who qualifies for funding may be changed or that the nature of the funding may change. For instance, it may change from being fully funded healthcare to partially funded.
Why NHS Continuing Healthcare should be protected.
The report warns that changes in the amount of funding, or changes to the criteria, could have an adverse impact on patients. Healthcare funding in the UK is not means-tested; it is ‘free at the point of use’ and it is universal. With an ageing population, the number of people requiring financial support for their healthcare in later life is only going to grow rapidly.
The ageing process can be daunting; not knowing about the path your health may take or what your future care needs may cost. People shouldn’t have to go through that uncertainty when the NHS was established to look after people from the ‘cradle to the grave’. Cuts to funding may alter the entire concept of the NHS – to take care of us until the grave. With an ageing population, having a health service that provides for us throughout all of the stages throughout our life has arguably never been so important.
Take some of the uncertainty out of your situation by seeking our help to guide you through the process.
If you think you might qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, contact Just Caring Legal today.