Continuing healthcare (CHC)

Your needs are funded according to which type of care you need. Healthcare or social care. If you have a what is called a primary healthcare need rather than needing social care you may be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare.

Continuing health care (CHC)

Continuing health care means that you have a level of health need that the NHS funds your care in your preferred place.

This means that your funding is not means tested, and you will not be expected to pay for any of your care. The assessment for this type of funding is based on the intensity, nature, complexity and unpredictability of the persons health and social care requirements.

The process involves a few stages. Funding is applied for, and a decision to support tool is completed, which is a checklist to see if you would be eligible for a full assessment, which can then take place. Continuing healthcare is designed for people whose needs cannot be met under normal care circumstances. You may have a high level of need, but if these can be safely and reasonably met by nursing or care staff, you do not qualify for continuing healthcare, and therefore, while it can be a useful service, it is not always appropriate.

The checklist and assessment can be carried out with you, or your family’s input but will also need to involve health and social care professionals. You will also need someone who can complete and send off the tool, for example, in a hospital, this may be a member of the discharge team. These decisions are evidence-based, so keeping any healthcare communications, such as GP letters, can be helpful.

Once approved, the care you need should be in place within 28 days. If it takes any longer, any costs you pay towards your care after the 28th day will be refunded.

Fast track continuing health care (CHC)

People with rapidly deteriorating conditions who may be approaching the end of their life can be eligible for this process to be fast-tracked. This involves a suitable doctor or nurse reviewing your condition and deciding that you meet the criteria for fast-track funding without an extensive assessment. The idea is to ensure that you are in your preferred place of care as quickly as possible, within 48 hours, according to national guidance.