Following the passage of the Health and Care Act 2022, there will be structural changes within the NHS that are of note, along with updates to the National Framework for Continuing Healthcare Funding and minor changes to the Checklist assessment and Decision Support Tool assessment documentation. So, what are these changes and what do they mean for the CHC Funding process?
The key change following the implementation of the new legislation is the way in which the NHS is structured. Previously, the NHS comprised of more than 200 Clinical Commissioning Groups (‘CCGs’), which are NHS bodies responsible for coordinating the CHC Funding process for the individuals within their locality. From 1st July 2022 however, all CCGs have been abolished, and have been replaced with Integrated Care Systems (‘ICSs’) or Integrated Care Boards (‘ICBs’) who will take on the same role as the former CCGs. The idea is for ICSs to bring together the NHS, local authority and other third sector bodies, to take on responsibility for the health and resources of an area, with the aim of delivering more effective, integrated care for patients. Other than minor administrative changes in terms of liaising with the NHS when advancing CHC applications and appeals, this is unlikely to have any significant impact on the progression of matters.
Alongside the transition to ICSs and ICBs, the National Framework for CHC Funding has been updated with the intention of providing greater clarity to individuals and staff, through slight amendments in its structure. A number of policy areas have also been clarified, including a reiteration of the guidance which confirms that the majority of CHC assessments should be taking place outside of acute hospital settings. There has also been an increased emphasis on obtaining informed consent and active participation throughout the CHC process. Ultimately, however, there have been no amendments to the funding criteria, and the updated documentation will not affect the assessment process in practice.
These recent legislative changes clearly demonstrate the government’s continued intention for the CHC funding system to remain.
As such, if you have a relative who you believe may be entitled to CHC funding, you should contact us immediately for a free, confidential assessment as to their entitlement to Continuing Healthcare Funding.