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Social Services, financial assessments and NHS Continuing Healthcare explained

We hope the following Q&A will help to explain the situation surrounding Social Services, financial assessments and NHS Continuing Healthcare

Our client advisors and continuing healthcare specialists at Compass CHC have noticed an increase in the number of clients worried about Social Services wanting to undertake financial assessments and the impact this may have on their on-going Continuing Healthcare assessments. We hope the following will help to explain the situation more thoroughly and put minds at ease.

Q: Social Services have contacted me; they want to complete a financial assessment on my mother/father. Can they do this?
A: Yes, Social Services will conduct financial assessments to determine who (Local Authority or the patient themselves) is responsible for paying care fees IF the patient is not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. The starting position, in the absence of NHS funding, is that if an individual has assets exceeding £23,250 then they are liable to pay for the cost of their care in full, whether they receive care at home with carers, or if they are paying care home costs in a residential or nursing home.

Even when assets of the individual fall below £23,250 they must continue to part contribute to their care home costs until these assets fall below £14,000. When this lower threshold is met, the individual will be required to contribute towards their care home costs from any income they receive (such as a pension).

However, Social Services should not be completing any financial assessments until the NHS Continuing Healthcare funding assessment has been completed.  The basis for this is that if an individual’s needs are primarily health needs they are entitled to NHS continuing healthcare funding to meet the cost of their care in full, whatever their financial situation.  NHS Continuing Healthcare funding is NOT means tested.  Clearly until this assessment has been undertaken in full and excluded an individual’s entitlement to this funding there should not be other funding assessments undertaken.

Q: Will this jeopardise the Continuing Healthcare Funding?
A: No

Q: Is this to do with the Continuing Healthcare Funding?
A: No. However, a Social Worker should be part of the multi-disciplinary team undertaking full NHS Continuing Healthcare decision support tool assessments, and they can also complete the first stage in the continuing healthcare funding assessment which is known as a checklist.  Therefore, be aware that they should only be completing financial assessments if they have informed you and you have given permission, after a full assessment for continuing healthcare has been completed and determined an individual is not entitled.

Q: Shall I let Social Services do it? What if I don’t want them to do it?
A: Yes, let them complete it but only once a Continuing Healthcare assessment has been completed.

If you do not want Social Services to complete any financial assessments, that is of course your prerogative, however if you don’t qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, you will have no help with care home fees from your Local Authority either as you have refused to allow them to look into matters.

At Compass CHC we put our clients first, if you would like further clarification regarding this issue – or on anything else to do with NHS Continuing Healthcare funding – don’t hesitate to contact us. Compass CHC does not undertake work in any other area which means we have accumulated vast experience in the Continuing Healthcare sector and we are not distracted by work of other nature.

Our experts are on hand now to answer your questions, call 0121 227 8940 or complete our free, confidential assessment today and an expert member of our team will contact you for a no obligation discussion to outline your options.

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