If this is okay with you, please close this message.
Explains your rights to social care, and how this differs from healthcare. Includes information on eligibility, needs assessments, financial assessments, and how local authorities may meet your needs.
Continuing healthcare (CHC) is a package of care for people who are not in hospital and have been assessed as having a 'primary health need'. You don't have to pay for CHC – it's arranged and paid for by the NHS. However, it's not common for people to receive CHC if they have only mental health problems as opposed to physical health needs.
CHC can be provided in your own home. The NHS might pay for community nurses or specialist therapists to treat you at home, or give you support with things such as bathing, dressing and doing the laundry. CHC may also be provided in a care home with the NHS paying for your care home fees and providing other services such as nursing.
To be eligible for CHC you must:
Seeing whether you're eligible for CHC is a two stage process:
If the preliminary assessment shows that you may be eligible for CHC, then you'll have a full assessment. This will be carried out by a multi-disciplinary team, consisting of either:
The multi-disciplinary team will use a checklist similar to the one used in the preliminary assessment checklist and score you on how serious your needs are in each of the categories in the checklist.
Because most of the categories considered in the assessment process don't relate to mental health, and because of the way they are scored, people with only mental health problems are rarely considered eligible for CHC, as opposed to those with physical health problems.
The multi-disciplinary team will make a recommendation to your clinical commissioning group if you're in England or local health board in Wales about whether you're eligible for CHC. The clinical commissioning group or local health board will write to you to tell you whether you're eligible and give reasons for their decision.
If you are eligible for CHC, the clinical commissioning group or local health board will discuss with you:
Yes – if you have not been found eligible for CHC, you can challenge the decision this way:
CCGs are groups of GP practices and other healthcare professionals and bodies that are responsible for commissioning most health and care services for patients. They have replaced Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in England.See our full list of legal terms.
These are organisations in the health service in Wales that have been set up to develop and provide health services based on the needs of the local community.See our full list of legal terms.
This information was published in February 2018. We will revise it in 2020.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.