In May 2022, the Department of Health and Social Care published a revised National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and NHS Funded Nursing Care to come into effect on 1 July 2022.
The National Framework sets out the principles and processes for deciding eligibility for CHC in England.
NHS continuing healthcare is an ongoing package of health and social care that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS where an individual is found to have a primary health need.
The National Framework also contains a number of tools to assess for CHC eligibility:
The revision to the Framework coincides with a structural change within the NHS in England. Currently, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for assessing, funding and commissioning care for individuals. However, from 1 July 2022 this responsibility will be taken over by Integrated Commissioning Boards (ICBs).
The Health and Care Act 2022 establishes ICBs as the statutory bodies responsible for CHC. This is the biggest change to the structure of the NHS in England since CCG’s replaced Primary Care Trusts in 2013. The main reason for this change is to encourage greater integration between the NHS and other agencies such as social services. Whether this will be the result remains to be seen.