Karol Sikora discusses future of healthcare system
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NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is a package that covers the full cost of care and residential accommodation for those who are entitled to it due to disability, accident or illness. Yet only one in ten people know about it according to a new report.
A new report published by retirement specialists Just Group said the NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) plan is the “best kept secret in government support available to finance care”.
Research found three quarters of people don’t know it exists and less than one in ten have made use of it, meaning hundreds of thousands of cash strapped Britons could be missing out on vital financial help.
Experts have said more needs to be done to make sure people know it’s there, and have called on the Government to make it a focus as part of its plans to reform the health and social care levy.
What is NHS continuing healthcare?
NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) is a package of care for people who are assessed as having a ‘primary health need’ funded by the NHS. There are two parts to the funding:
- If people receive care in their own home, the NHS covers the cost of care and support, which includes personal care such as help with washing and getting dressed.
- If Britons receive NHS continuing healthcare in a care home, the NHS pays your care home fees.
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Most people don’t know when they must pick up the bill and at what point the Government will step in.
Mr Lowe added: “This is despite a 2020 report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman recommending improvements to communications and the assessment system to ensure people receive the support they are eligible for without jumping through hoops.
“The reforms need a high-profile public awareness campaign to avoid any misunderstandings.
“People need to know that even with a levy and a cap on personal care costs, they are also likely to face significant costs from their own pockets if they need professional care in later life, either in their own home or in a care home.”
While the social care reform is a perfect time to make changes, he said communication needs to be improved now so that people don’t miss out.
“While we await the details of the reforms, information, guidance and professional advice become ever more important in helping people get the support they need when grappling with the complexity and cost of finding care.”
In December, Express.co.uk reported that as many as 20,000 patients had been forced out of the NHS and told to pay for their healthcare.
Clinical Commissioning Groups have been accused of raising the qualification thresholds so high that it is almost impossible to access this free funding.
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To apply for NHS Continuing Healthcare for oneself or a family member, people need to speak to their GP or social worker to arrange an assessment.
Charities like Age Concern UK are also a good port of call for anyone looking for expert advice.
More than 175,000 adults were considered for NHS CHC funding in 2019 to 2020.
But with figures showing that 75 percent of people aren’t aware of the funding, the fear is that many more are missing out.
Express.co.uk has contacted the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) asking for comment.
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