National Audit Office publishes ‘Investigation into NHS continuing health care’

joannemoores Sep 8th, 2017

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published the findings of its investigation into NHS continuing health care (CHC).The National Audit Office scrutinises public spending for Parliament and is independent of government.

CHC is a package of care provided outside of hospital that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for individuals who have significant ongoing health care needs.In 2015-16, almost 160,000 people received, or were assessed as eligible for, CHC funding in the year, at a cost of £3.1bn.

Amongst the NAO's key findings are:

  • The current assessment process for CHC funding raises people’s expectations about whether they will receive funding;
  • In most cases eligibility decisions should be made within 28 days but many people are waiting longer; and
  • The number of people receiving CHC funding is rising and the funding of CHC is a significant cost pressure on local NHS resources.

The recorded outcomes reveal only a small number of people will be awarded CHC funding:

  • 124,000 adults began the assessment process and completed the initial assessment.
  • 77,000 met the criteria on the initial assessment and went forward to a full assessment.
  • 22,000 met the criteria on the full assessment and were awarded CHC funding.