Thank you to the Skinners for this lovely Facebook post last week following a successful outcome of their relative’s NHS Continuing Healthcare case. And we would just like to reiterate: if you are unsure whether to fight for justice, please – pick up the phone before you decide, for a free initial assessment of your case.
Are you having to fight for justice on NHS Continuing Healthcare?
If so, you are not alone. There is a whole army of people in the same position. The NHS CHC judicial review campaign, which now has the support of thousands, is taking the fight for justice all the way to the High Court. Almost 2,500 people have contributed more than £90,000 to their crowdfunder. Their vision is that “all adults with a Primary Health Need receive the full NHS Continuing Healthcare funding to which they are legally entitled regardless of setting.” They point out that the failure of the system to allocate NHS funding fairly has resulted in “emotional distress and financial devastation to many thousands of old, ill and vulnerable people, with many being unlawfully forced to deplete their life savings and sell their homes.”
It’s a familiar story
Mrs Skinner called us last month. She told us that her relative had been receiving care in a specialist home under NHS emergency Covid funding. She required 1:1 care around the clock. When NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments started up again in September (having been suspended in March due to Covid), a multidisciplinary team assessed her needs in a virtual meeting. After deliberating for more than three months about whether she qualified for NHS Continuing Healthcare, they eventually decided she did not. The local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) offered to pay just 30% of her fees in a “joint funding” arrangement with the local authority. This was despite the fact that the specialist 1:1 care she needed contributed around 70% of her total care costs. This would have depleted her life savings in months.
How was Just Caring Legal able to help?
On reviewing the documentation relating to the eligibility assessment, we immediately spotted some glaring flaws. The assessment process is governed by both NHS regulations and national guidance. But the assessors in this case had failed to follow them. The assessment had downplayed and misrepresented the reality of her daily (and nightly) care. It had marginalised vital evidence from the family and care providers who knew her best. And it had failed to resolve disagreements between health and social care professionals about the correct level of need.
We swiftly liaised with the CCG and set up another meeting. With robust representation from Just Caring Legal, Mrs Skinner was finally able to establish that her relative clearly did have a “primary health need“. Therefore, she qualified for NHS Continuing Healthcare. Where eligibility is established, it is the legal duty of the NHS to cover all health and social care costs. Which means in this case, a joint package with the local authority would have been unlawful.
Are you unsure whether to fight for justice?
Has your relative lost their Covid emergency funding without a full eligibility assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare? Or perhaps you feel the assessment was inadequate in capturing your relative’s needs. Often, clients tell us they simply don’t recognise the person portrayed in the documents.
If you are unsure whether it is worth fighting for justice, then talk to us before you decide. Tell us your story and we will give you our free initial assessment of your case. We can even take the fight on for you, with our medico-legal expertise, if that is what you need. So call us today – you have nothing to lose but the weight off your mind.