NHSCC have launched a new publication which suggests ways in which the provision of NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) in local areas can be improved for the benefit of patients and commissioners and shares some of the approaches that have been developed by local CCGs which have proved to be effective in delivering their CHC commitments.
“Today’s publication identifies a number of ways in which CCGs can take action to improve delivery for patients and commissioners, building upon learning from those areas that have already taken steps to address this issue. As CHC accounts for almost 5% of total NHS spend, this is understandably a priority area for commissioners,” said Julie Wood, Chief Executive NHS Clinical Commissioners, “we recognise that there is considerable variation in how CHC is delivered in local areas and that can result in delays in patients receiving the funding for care that they are entitled to.”
There are several challenges that commissioners have encountered in provision of CHC locally including ensuring the accuracy of assessments due to the complexity of the process, variation in legal advice, a lack of national support for local CHC teams, and significantly the huge workload burden that ineligible applications place on local systems. A recent NAO report found that only 18% of initial screenings led to that person being assessed as eligible for CHC.
Julie Wood went on to say “We believe that there are a number of actions that can be taken nationally to support CHC provision in local areas. Most importantly NHS England must develop a clear narrative and communicate to patients, families and members of the public when CHC funding will be available and when it will not via a national information campaign. This will reduce the burden on local CHC teams, and should result in more timely decisions being made for those who are eligible.”
Lorna Collingwood-Burke, chair of the NHSCC Nurses Forum, that represents commissioning nurses, and chief nursing officer, NHS South Devon & Torbay and NEW Devon CCGs said, “Nurses play a leading role in the provision of quality CHC services in local areas, both as leaders of teams that carry out the assessments and as the assessors themselves. We feel that more must be done nationally to value this key element of the NHS workforce and recognise CHC provision as a distinct career pathway for nurses.”
NHS continuing healthcare: Effective commissioning approaches identifies six national actions that our members believe will support the local delivery of CHC:
Across the country CCGs are working hard to ensure the CHC assessment process is effective and fair for patients. Our members have shared with us several approaches that have improved the efficiency of CHC provision and most importantly improved patient experience – some examples of these are below and the full list can be found in the document:
Read the document in full here
Published 25 January 2018
Updated 28 February 2018