Everything You Need to Know About the NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist

If you are living with an ongoing health condition that impacts your ability to live a comfortable and independent lifestyle, you may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. This is a package of care that is fully funded by the NHS.

The application process for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding is fairly complicated and involves several stages. To help you through this process, we have created this comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about the initial assessment stage, the NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist.

What is the continuing healthcare checklist?

The Continuing Healthcare Checklist is a screening tool used by the NHS to assess whether an individual is eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare – a package of care that is fully funded by the NHS for individuals who have significant or ongoing healthcare needs.

The Checklist evaluates a wide range of support needs, including physical, psychological, and social needs. It is designed to help qualified health or social care practitioners assess whether an individual has a primary health need that requires ongoing care and support.

What are the criteria for continuing healthcare?

The threshold for meeting the criteria for CHC and passing the Checklist has been set intentionally low. This is to ensure everyone with ongoing health needs has the chance to receive a full assessment.

The CHC Checklist covers 11 core elements of care, including:

  • Breathing
  • Nutrition
  • Continence
  • Skin integrity
  • Mobility
  • Communication
  • Psychological/Emotional needs
  • Cognition
  • Behaviour
  • Medication and drug therapies
  • Altered state of consciousness

For each element of the checklist, a healthcare professional will allocate a level of need ranging from ‘No Needs’ to ‘High’, ‘Severe’ or ‘Priority.’ This information will then be used to determine whether you are eligible for a full assessment.

You can download a blank copy of the CHC Checklist on the GOV.uk website.

What to expect during the CHC screening process

The Checklist assessment should take place in the person’s own environment, whether that be their own home or a community care setting. Previously, the Checklist assessment could take place in hospital but that has changed under new guidance in the revised edition of the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare.

To start the process, you can contact your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to set up an assessment for yourself or a loved one. You can also contact your GP, therapist, social worker, or district nurse about setting up an assessment.

The CCG will appoint an assessor to carry out the initial Checklist assessment. This assessor will be a health or social care practitioner such as a GP, clinician, registered nurse or local authority staff.

Reasonable notice about the date of your assessment should be provided to give you adequate time to prepare. The National Framework provides that you are entitled to have any person you choose be with you during the Checklist assessment to act as an advocate or simply provide encouragement and support.

Whatever the outcome of the Checklist, it should be communicated clearly and in writing to the individual or their representative. You can expect to hear back about their findings within 28 days. If you have not heard back about the results of your assessment, try contacting your local CCG.

What are the possible outcomes of the checklist assessment?

There are 2 possible outcomes of the Checklist assessment:

  • A negative Checklist; or
  • A positive Checklist

If you are notified about a successful outcome, you should be given a copy of the Checklist and the reasons for your success should be explained in writing.

You will then be passed on to a full assessment which is carried out by a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT). It is important to remember that a positive Checklist does not necessarily mean you will be found eligible for funding during the MDT stage.

If you are notified about a negative outcome, you should still be provided with a copy of your Checklist assessment with written reasons for the negative decision.

If you feel the results of the outcome are wrong or that there has been an abuse of process (for instance, family members were excluded from the process) you can request another Checklist assessment. If you would like to challenge the outcome, you have 12 months to lodge a formal complaint.

In order to challenge an assessment, you must provide grounds for disputing the outcome. Be sure to include any medical records or other evidence about your healthcare needs to help substantiate your claim.

If after your complaint the decision remains unchanged and you would like to challenge it further, you can initiate a written NHS complaint procedure.

Fast-track assessment

If you or a loved one need emergency support, there is a fast-track assessment available. The intention of the fast-track pathway is to identify individuals that need immediate support because they have a rapidly deteriorating condition or they require end-of-life care.

The Fast Track Pathway Tool can be completed by any ‘appropriate clinician’. This can be anyone responsible or knowledgeable about your health needs such as your GP or a registered nurse.

If successful, CHC Funding for you or a loved one’s care needs should be put in place within 48 hours of assessment.

Arranging CHC care from Oxford Aunts

At Oxford Aunts, we have helped thousands of families better understand how they can finance the care of a loved one. We are knowledgeable about the NHS Counting Healthcare process and are used to working with healthcare professionals and local authorities to help families secure the funding they are entitled to.

We are experts in the care of complex or ongoing health conditions that affect people’s ability to live comfortably and independently at home. Our fully-managed and regulated home care service means your carers will be directly employed and managed by us. We know this provides reassurance and peace of mind for families whilst removing the burden of having to manage the care arrangement.

Talk to us about your care needs

Call our friendly and approachable care advisors today to arrange an assessment of your care needs. We can then help you explore what financing and funding are available to you and your family.

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