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What is a ‘Fast Track’ Continuing Healthcare Assessment?

We explain what the fast track assessment for continuing healthcare is and how it can benefit patient’s with deteriorating conditions

If an individual’s condition is deteriorating rapidly, they may be approaching the end of their life, and a “fast track” continuing care assessment may be applicable to allow an appropriate care and support package to be put in place as soon as possible.

This enables the individual to receive prompt NHS funding to meet the cost of care at the end of life stage. The only requirement for by-passing the normal NHS continuing healthcare assessment criteria and receiving the fast track pathway is that the individual must have:

“a rapidly deteriorating condition that may be entering a terminal phase.” (National Framework guidelines, page 32, paragraph 97)

Further, the National Framework (page 33, paragraph 105) states that:

where deterioration can be reasonably anticipated to take place in the near future, this should also be taken into account, in order to avoid the unnecessary or repeat assessments

A GP, consultant, registrar or registered nurse can complete the fast track tool, but they must have knowledge or experience of the individual’s health needs

If the assessment makes a recommendation for urgent care your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) should provide care immediately. Once care is in place, the CCG can then reassess using the usual Decision Support Tool.

It should be noted that strict time limits that base eligibility on some specified, expected length of life remaining should not be imposed.

Compass CHC have encountered instances of Clinical Commissioning Groups refusing to undertake CHC fast track assessments when an individual clearly satisifies the criteria, and even circumstances where a fast track assessment has been correctly completed by a patient’s GP and submitted to the CCG only for it not to be accepted.

This is in clear contravention of the National Framework. Such examples only support our position at Compass CHC that it is essential that individuals are represented by an expert when tackling any and all matters relating to continuing healthcare funding.

How can Compass CHC help?

The Compass CHC team of continuing healthcare experts, comprising lawyers (non-practising) and clinicians (including nurses, tissue viability specialists and pharmacists), review and consider the evidence from a clinical perspective before drafting reasoned arguments which identify an individual’s entitlement to the funding by cross-referring the medical evidence to the National Framework for continuing healthcare criteria.

Further, our advocates are all (non-practising) lawyers specialising exclusively in continuing healthcare funding matters. Compass CHC does not undertake work in any other area which means we have accumulated vast experience attending assessments and appeal hearings at local and NHS England level and we are not distracted by work of other natures We can assist no matter where you are located geographically in England and Wales.

We are industry experts and our experience means that we are able to secure a successful result for our clients in a swifter time frame and for less cost than our competitors. 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.

Author: Tim Davies LLB

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