NHS Kingston

NHS continuing healthcare

nurse and patient

NHS continuing healthcare is a package of ongoing care that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS where the individual has been found to have a ‘primary health need’ and who is not in hospital and has complex ongoing health needs.


Who is eligible for NHS continuing healthcare?

Anyone over 18 years of age who is assessed as having a certain level of care needs may be entitled to NHS continuing healthcare.

It is not dependant on a particular disease, diagnosis or condition. You must be assessed as having a ‘primary health need’, which means that your main or primary need for care must relate to your health.

If you have a disability, or if you’ve been diagnosed with a long-term illness or condition, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare.

NHS continuing healthcare is not dependant on who provides the care or where that care is provided.


Where is NHS continuing healthcare provided?

If you are eligible, you can receive NHS continuing healthcare in any setting.

In your own home – the NHS will pay for healthcare, such as services from a community nurse or specialist therapist, and personal care, such as help with bathing, dressing and laundry

In a care home – as well as healthcare and personal care, the NHS will pay for your care home fees, including board and accommodation.

NHS continuing healthcare is free, unlike social and community care services provided by local authorities for which a charge may be made, depending on your income and savings.


NHS continuing healthcare assessments

For most people, there is an initial checklist, which is used to decide if you need a full assessment. The initial checklist can be completed by a nurse, doctor other healthcare professional or social worker.

Depending on the outcome of the checklist, you will either be told that you don’t meet the criteria for a full NHS continuing healthcare assessment, or you will be told that you are going to be referred for a full assessment of eligibility.

Being referred for a full assessment doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare.

The professionals completing the checklist should record written reasons for their decision, and sign and date the checklist. You should be given a copy of the completed checklist.


Full assessment for NHS continuing healthcare

Full assessments for NHS continuing healthcare are undertaken by a "multi-disciplinary" team made up of a minimum of two health or care professionals. You should be informed who is coordinating the NHS continuing healthcare assessment.

The assessment should take into account your views and the views of any unpaid carers and family you have. You should be given a copy of the decision documents, along with clear reasons for the decision.


Fast-track assessment for NHS continuing healthcare

If someone’s condition is deteriorating quickly and they are nearing the end of their life, they should be considered for the NHS continuing healthcare fast track pathway, so that an appropriate care and support package can be put in place as soon as possible.


What if the care needs change?

Your eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare will need to be review regularly. If your care needs change, the funding arrangements may also change.

Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group, Guildhall, Kingston, KT1 1EU
Tel: 020 8339 8000 or email communications@kingstonccg.nhs.uk

NHS 111 NHS Choices