The facts and figures.
There are few reported NHS Continuing Healthcare statistics. It’s simply an area that gets very little attention and research, but what we do know is that there are huge numbers of people who may qualify for NHS CHC but are rarely informed about it.
Statistics from the MS Society, Parkinson’s UK and the Alzheimer’s Society indicate that combined, there are over one million people with those conditions in the UK today. While a diagnosis does not definitively mean that someone should receive NHS CHC, people with certain conditions (particularly degenerative conditions) could develop a primary health need. For instance, someone with MS would be at risk of having mobility issues and that may constitute having a primary health need.
However, only 3% of people are informed about NHS CHC by their GP. This is particularly alarming; GPs are often treated as the first step for people accessing the health service. GPs often treat us for years, and can treat our whole families. There is a level of trust, where people turn to GPs for advice. Because of this, we get huge amounts of our healthcare information specifically from our GPs. If our doctors aren’t telling us about NHS CHC, then where else will we find out the information?
When people are informed about NHS CHC it is often well into their care. This means that people have potentially paid thousands of pounds each year for care, when they might have been eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. A key element has to be to tell patients early, that way they are more likely to have control over their future. At the very least, they will be able to exhaust their options and not have lingering doubts about what they are supposed to be paying.
A service under pressure.
An investigation by Money Mail earlier this year revealed that one of the biggest issues with NHS CHC right now is the numbers of reassessments. Their report revealed that while reassessments are taking place as expected, there are people losing funding when their health has actually deteriorated and their primary health need has exacerbated. Around 21,000 people are being put through reassessments which is a huge number, and shows that thousands of people may be facing uncertain times about their future.
What NHS Continuing Healthcare statistics suggest is that people aren’t being informed about the funding and/or told too late, but there is also little security when the NHS is under pressure to make cuts and thousands of reassessments are taking place each year.
If you have any questions about NHS CHC, or believe you may be entitled to full care funding contact Just Caring Legal today.