NHS Continuing Healthcare
Some people with long-term complex health needs qualify for free health and social care arranged and funded solely by the NHS. This is known as NHS continuing healthcare (CHC).
CHC supports people aged 18+ with long-term ongoing health needs from a disability, accident or illness. People who are eligible get a package of NHS-funded care that meets their care needs outside of hospital, for example in their own home or care home.
CHC is free, unlike local council support, where charges may be made depending on a person’s income and savings.
Am I eligible for CHC?
CHC is only available for people aged 18 and over.
Your eligibility depends on your needs and not on any particular diagnosis or condition. This means that you will need to be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals to find out if you are eligible for CHC.
The team of professionals will all be experts in different areas of your care to help them get a full understanding of all your care needs. They will look at:
- what help you need
- how complex your needs are
- how intense your needs can be
- how unpredictable they are, including any risks to your health if the right care is not provided at the right time
If your needs change at any point, your eligibility for CHC may change too.
CHC is only available for adults aged 18+. Find out more about children’s continuing care packages below.
How does the assessment work?
The assessment can seem complex and usually comes at uncertain times for people. The information below gives you an overview of how it works.
Stage 1 – Initial checklist assessment
Most people will have an initial checklist assessment. The checklist is a screening tool that helps the team to identify whether you require full assessment for CHC funding. If the checklist shows that you definitely aren’t eligible, then you won’t need a full assessment and you will be told by the team.
Stage 2 – Full assessment
A positive checklist scoring means you require a full assessment of eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare. Your eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare depends on your assessed needs, and not on any particular diagnosis or condition. This assessment will be done by a team of health professionals as described above.
You, your family and your carers should be involved throughout the assessment. You will be asked about the support you need and kept informed on what is happening. If you are unable to make your own decisions, representatives can be involved on your behalf. The representative is usually a family member or carer.
You should normally find out if you are eligible within 28 days of the request for full assessment.
If you are not eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, you may still be able to access some support, see below.
Your application will be fast tracked if your health is deteriorating quickly and you are nearing the end of your life. This means that an appropriate care and support package can be put in place by your local CHC team as soon as possible – usually within 48 hours.
Care and support planning
After being approved for CHC, we will need to arrange a care and support package with you.
Depending on your situation, different options could be suitable, including support in your own home and the option of a personal health budget.
If it’s agreed that a care home is the best option for you, there could be more than one local care home that’s suitable.
Your local CHC team will work with you and consider your views when agreeing your support package and where it will be provided. However, they can also take other factors into account, such as the cost and value for money of different options.
The National framework for NHS continuing healthcare and NHS-funded nursing care sets out the principles and processes. Click here to read it or visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-framework-for-nhs-continuing-healthcare-and-nhs-funded-nursing-care.
Use the drop downs below to see more information about CHC eligibility and funding.
If you aren’t eligible for CHC, there may still be other support available for you:
- you may be referred to social services to see if you are eligible for any support from them
- if you still have some health needs, then you may be referred to another NHS service for help too
- you may be eligible for a ‘joint package of care.’ This is where the NHS and social services both contribute to some part of your package of care
- if you live in a care home offering nursing care, you may be eligible for NHS Funded Nursing Care.
Your care needs will be regularly reviewed to see if they are changing. This normally happens within the first 3 months then every year after that.
The review will check whether your existing support still meets your needs.
If your needs have changed, the review will also consider if you are still eligible for CHC. If you are no longer eligible, your local CHC team will explain what happens next and what other support may be available to you.
Some children and young people may have very complex health needs that require additional health support – continuing care. For example, they may have a disability, have had an accident or illness.
The children’s continuing care team is responsible for assessing children and young people to see if they are eligible. They follow the National Framework for Children and Young People’s Continuing care (Department of Health 2016) guidance.
If your child or teenager needs a package of care, it should be discussed with you and with them. You should all agree together the right support and you will have the option of a personal health budget.
Your child’s school and the local council, as well as health services are likely to be all part of any plan too.
A personal health budget allows you to manage your healthcare and support in a way that suits you.
Instead of a set package of care, you or your representative gets an amount of money to spend – a budget. You must plan and agree how you will spend this money with your local CHC team as there are some restrictions on how the money can be spent.
All adults on CHC funding and children who get continuing care have the right to have a personal health budget.
All community-based long-term CHC care packages must now be funded by a Personal Health Budget’
When you get your decision letter, it will have all the information about what to do if you disagree or want to appeal a CHC decision.
Firstly, we would ask you to speak to your local CHC team and discuss your concerns.
If you are still unhappy, you can ask NHS England to review the decision. You can find more information about this on NHS England’s website.
Local CHC team contact details
To contact your local Continuing Healthcare team, use the details below:
Bolton CHC Team
BOLCCG.AdminCHC@nhs.net | 01204 462293
Bury CHC Team, Townside Primary Care Centre, Knowsley Place, Knowsley Street, Bury BL9 0SN
firstname.lastname@example.org / 0161 762 3119
Manchester CHC Team, Parkway 3, Parkway Business Centre, Princess Road, M14 7LU
email@example.com / 0161 213 1720
Oldham Complex Care Team, Oldham ICP, Civic Centre, West Street, Oldham OL1 1UT
firstname.lastname@example.org / 07811 713266
Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CHC Team
email@example.com / 01706 664190
Salford NHS Funded Care Team, Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton, Manchester, M27 5AW
firstname.lastname@example.org / 0161 212 4163
Stockport NHS Funded Nursing Care Team, 4th Floor, Stopford House, Stockport SK1 3XE
email@example.com / 0161 426 9906
Tameside Individualised Commissioning Team, 2nd Floor, Hattersley Hub, Stockport Road, Hattersley, Hyde, Manchester, SK14 6NT
General Enquires and Business Support:
firstname.lastname@example.org / 0161 342 5544
Trafford Personalised Care Department, Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Road, Stretford, M32 0TH
email@example.com / 0161 873 6070
Wigan Individualised Care Team, Wigan Life Centre, College Avenue, Wigan WN1 1NJ