Continuing Healthcare Funding (CHC) is a type of NHS funding that can be used to cover the ongoing care costs of people with long term health needs. This could mean care within your own home or at a care home, making it a flexible type of funding that can be really useful for avoiding large care bills.
In this article we’ll look at what it’s used for, who qualifies for it and how to make an application.
What CHC covers
CHC funding can be used for a variety of things depending on the specific needs that you have. It is designed to ensure that people with a primary healthcare need are able to access the care that they need even when they’re no longer being looked after directly by the NHS. For instance, somebody moving out of hospital and into a care home might qualify for CHC funding.
What the money is actually used for will be different in each case – it’s designed to fund whatever needs are identified during the application process. However, here are some common expenses that would qualify:
- Healthcare professionals such as therapists or nurses visiting you in your home
- Personal care – e.g. assistance with feeding and washing – within your home
- Care home fees for board and accommodation
Ultimately the aim is to support the recipient in maintaining their independence or, if that’s not possible, help to ensure that a high living standard is maintained.
Who can receive CHC funding?
There are a range of factors that can affect eligibility, so the first step in the process is to find out if you can get continuing healthcare funding, either for yourself or for your loved one. The basic requirement is that the recipient’s care needs can be considered health-related, rather than due to social care factors.
The important thing to be aware of is that it’s an individual’s specific needs that determine whether or not they qualify, not their diagnosis. This means that a healthcare professional will need to assess the care needs in categories such as how well you (or your loved one) can feed yourself, or how well you can look after your own personal hygiene.
How is an application made?
The first stage of the process is completing a continuing healthcare checklist. This is where a health or social care professional makes a range of observations to determine how much care is needed. Once the checklist has been completed, it is reviewed and marked as positive or negative depending on the level of need identified. In the case of a positive checklist, more observations will be made before a final decision is made.
Continuing Healthcare Funding can be a real lifeline for healthcare conditions that cause you to have difficulty caring for yourself. It can give you the means to stay independent by remaining in your own home, or help you avoid the sometimes-overwhelming costs of a care home. If you think that it could be right for your circumstances, then a professional will be able to help you get more information and determine next steps.
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