It is well documented that we live in an aging population, and that the cost of residential care often requires those who’ve saved money all their lives to sell their homes and surrender assets in order to pay for it.
The current threshold for ‘self-funding’ is £23,250. If, therefore, on entering full-time residential care you have eligible assets over this value, you will usually be obliged to pay for the costs of that care. Given that such costs can range upwards from £500 per week, it follows that, often, the value of a resident’s estate can be reduced in a relatively short period of time.
If the care required is nursing care, however, rather than residential care, it may be that the patient is entitled to claim NHS Continuing Care Funding (CHC). Broadly speaking, CHC should be granted where it can be established that a patient has a primary health need. There is no legal definition of a primary health need, but it is established by reviewing the condition of a patient in numerous areas relating to their health and well-being.
Not everyone that requires an element of healthcare in their overall care package will be entitled to CHC, and it is not the case that certain health conditions will give rise to an automatic requirement for CHC. Each case must be assessed on its individual merits. In cases where CHC is refused, patients or their representatives may feel that the refusal is unfair or incorrect and naturally wish to consider their options.
In order to apply for CHC, a patient or their representative must first apply to their local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who may agree to comprehensively review the patient’s condition subject to satisfactory completion of an initial questionnaire.
Reviews are carried out by a multi-disciplinary team, consisting of healthcare professionals involved in the care of the patient and, if successful, a recommendation to the CCG for full funding will be made.
CHC reviews are complicated and involve detailed consideration of the patient’s needs in a wide variety of categories, using all available evidence.
The solicitors at Humphries Kirk can assist at the outset by discussing the care needs of a patient with them or their representatives and ascertaining whether an application for CHC would be worthwhile. If CHC has been refused, Humphries Kirk can also review the available evidence and assist in reaching informed decisions about whether CHC should be granted, and whether an appeal should be considered.
For further assistance please visit the Humphries Kirk website www.hklaw.eu or call 01202 725400.