Helping you to understand how
to finance long-term care

At Oxford Aunts we have been helping thousands of families better understand how they can finance care of a loved one, whilst providing guidance on any funding they may be entitled to.  It is prudent for families to plan the financing of care for an elderly loved one as soon as is practically possible.  Whilst many families need to finance care themselves, it is worth finding out if you are entitled to any healthcare funding as depending on your health care needs, it could significantly contribute to your live-in care costs.  In addition to healthcare funding you may also be entitled to social care funding or local authority support depending on your financial circumstances.  Here we explain what healthcare funding is and how you can access it.

HEALTHCARE FUNDING EXPLAINED

Healthcare is free at the point of delivery, whether it is received in a NHS hospital or in another setting, like a hospice or in your own home.  If you have decided that you wish to have live-in care you may be entitled for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding.  This is funding available from your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). A healthcare need is identified as ‘the treatment, control or prevention of a disease, illness, injury or disability and the after care of a person living with these conditions.’

If you have been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, have a disability or a long-term illness the CCG will assess your health needs.  If they consider your need to be a ‘primary health need’ and one that requires clinical support or interventions, then you will be entitled to some healthcare funding.

How much funding you may be entitled to depends on the location of your CCG, not just your healthcare needs.   Frustratingly, for many families attempting to access healthcare funding for a loved one, the location of their CCG depends on the availability of funding.  CCG funding is non-means tested so your financial situation is not considered in the process.

At Oxford Aunts we work with ‘Care to be Different’.  Care to be Different was founded by Angela Sherman, who herself struggled to secure NHS Continuing Healthcare funding for her parents.  Having successfully secured the funding her parents needed, Angela now helps other families go through the process providing advice and support to get the funding they need.

ACCESSING NHS CONTINUING HEALTHCARE FUNDING

The process to secure NHS healthcare funding can be lengthy and the qualification criteria is rigorous with several steps involved in accessing what you are entitled to:

  • Firstly, contact your GP or local social worker to ask for a Continuing Care Assessment.
  • You will then be allocated a medical professional to your application. They will undertake an initial ‘screening’ in hospital or at home to better understand what funding you may be eligible for.
  • If their professional opinion is that you are likely to secure funding, they will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your healthcare needs. They will look at what your needs are now and what they are likely to be in the future.
  • The assessment will be shared with you local CCG, who will review and make the decision as to whether you will receive funding or not.
  • They will then send you the outcome of your application with their rationale.
  • If it has been determined that you are entitled to CCG funding, then you will need to decide how you wish your care to be organised and who will do it.

DIRECT PAYMENTS AND PERSONAL BUDGETS

Once you have secured CCG funding you have two choices as to how you arrange and pay for the care you need. You have the option to either manage the budget yourself and pay your chosen provider, or alternatively the CCG can source the care you need and manage your care arrangement on your behalf. However it is worth noting that if the CCG manages it for you, you will not get the option to choose who provides care in the same way you would if you were responsible for your own care arrangement.

If you choose to manage the arrangement yourself, you will be assigned a personal budget based on the outcome of your healthcare funding application. You will then receive a direct payment to your nominated bank account so that you are able to manage and pay your chosen care provider. Many families prefer to have the choice and flexibility personal budgets and direct payments offers.

NURSING CARE FUNDED BY THE NHS

The NHS may pay a weekly fee for you to receive nursing care in a setting other than hospital if that is your choice, whether that is for a registered nurse to visit you at home or in a care home. Basically, the assessment process is similar to CCG funding and most receive this level of funding if they have been unable to secure CCG funding, so it is worth applying for if you have been unsuccessful in securing full healthcare funding.

SOCIAL CARE FUNDING

Depending on your financial circumstances you may be eligible to social care funding from your local authority. If you have less than £23,250 in capital assets you will be entitled to funding for your care needs. We appreciate that many have more than this amount in both fixed and liquid assets and are faced with having to fund their care themselves, known as self-funding care.

OTHER LOCAL AUTHORITY SUPPORT

It is also worth checking with your local authority to see if there is any additional support, they can give you that will contribute to cost of care. There are discounts offered for council tax, disability allowances and attendance allowance that families can access to receive care at home.

Read the Live-In Care Hub’s useful guide to find out more about financing and funding care

TALK TO US ABOUT YOUR LIVE-IN CARE NEEDS

Call our friendly and approachable care advisors today to arrange an assessment of your care needs.  This will give you a better understanding of the cost of live-in care.  We can then help you explore what financing and funding is available to you and your family.

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