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NHS Continuing Healthcare & when to instruct a solicitor

What are the benefits of instructing a solicitor or expert during the application for NHS continuing healthcare funding?

The NHS Continuing Healthcare process can be a minefield of confusion, misinformation and untimely delays. The whole process can be flawed, and only adds further difficulties and obstacles at what is already a highly distressing time for most people.

How can a solicitor help you get NHS Continuing Healthcare funding?

Having a solicitor representing you and your loved one in (what can certainly feel like) a battle for funding, can prove very beneficial. Even just having someone to shoulder the burden of chasing up answers and information can be a huge relief. Sometimes it can take weeks and weeks for CCGs to contact families with the answers they so urgently need, even going against the guidelines outlined by the National Framework. We can minimise these untimely delays as much as possible, by vigilantly following up queries for information in an official and professional manner.

By conducting our own investigation based on medical records, we can ascertain just how eligible a person is for funding. Medical records can be highly extensive and heavily detailed and they are reviewed by an expert team in order to draft an accurate and effective representation of the patient’s health needs. We can firmly state our belief that a person is eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, and back it up with a wealth of evidence to prove so.

What a solicitor can particularly bring is years of experience with the process and an understanding of the various parties’ obligations, in particular the CCGs and healthcare professionals involved. At Compass we have qualified (non-practicing) solicitors with this specialist knowledge; they are motivated by ensuring that the law and rules in place are properly upheld and are not simply avoided, as they often can be.

Can a solicitor attend a DST assessment?

If you choose to have a solicitor represent you at an assessment this can also be especially effective. Even just acting in a mediatory role as an advocate, as we choose to do at Compass, a solicitor’s presence can ensure that the assessment guidelines are followed exactly as they should be.

We have encountered instances where the family have been informed that a solicitor will not be allowed to attend an assessment.  This is simply incorrect. NHS assessors may get defensive if you have a solicitor with you, and may even try to convince you that they are not allowed to attend. This is also incorrect. To quote the NHS: “The individual should be given the opportunity to be supported or represented by a carer, family member, friend or advocate if they so wish.

Therefore you have every right to have a solicitor attend the assessment with you, as an advocate. If you want to maximise your chances of successfully securing funding at the earliest opportunity, we always advise instructing a solicitor or equivalent expert in the area of NHS continuing healthcare funding. The minimal fixed fee cost of hiring an expert advocate at Compass will certainly pale against the total liability for care costs which could continue for many years.

How can the Compass Continuing Healthcare team help?

Contact an expert member of the Compass CHC team for a free, no obligation confidential discussion of your options. We can be contacted on 0121 227 8940 or you can complete our free assessment here and an expert member of our team will contact you.

Author: Tim Davies LLB

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