If I have MS could I qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare?
The answer to this is – possibly. NHS Continuing Healthcare can be complicated and it isn’t actually based upon diagnosis. Many of my clients do have MS and people with multiple sclerosis may be more likely to qualify at certain stages. However, the qualifying factor for funding is whether you have a primary health need, and some people with MS may be more likely to have that need.
What is a primary health need and how does it relate to my MS?
Not all people with MS will qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare because the funding criteria is based upon a primary health need – however, it’s important to remember that needs can change over time and therefore if a person doesn’t qualify right now, that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t in the future.
A primary health need has no fixed definition in terms of legislation, although there is the National Framework which does help to give guidance. Generally, a primary health need can be considered to be needing specialist healthcare and social care assistance, rather than purely social care. This could be due to mobility issues and/or severe cognitive impairments, difficulties communicating, which people with MS may be more likely to experience. The predictability and severity of these needs are also taken into consideration when it comes to eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding.
However, people with MS who are nearing the end of their life may well have a stronger chance of being found eligible for care fully funded by NHS Continuing Healthcare. There is also a fast-track process for those whose conditions are deteriorating rapidly towards the end of life. The vast majority of people who are on the fast-track process are awarded fully funded care through NHS Continuing Healthcare.
Why wasn’t I told about NHS Continuing Healthcare?
Sadly, NHS Continuing Healthcare is not heavily signposted. Only 3% of people are informed about the funding by their GP, the Public Accounts Committee found earlier this year. This means that many people risk missing out on funding that they may be entitled to. The earlier people are informed about their options, the more control they can have over their future.
If you have questions about NHS Continuing Healthcare and think you may be eligible for funding then contact Just Caring Legal today. You can call us now on 0191 556 1078 or email us at [email protected].