The Welsh Assembly Government has issued new guidance to Health Boards on a Framework for Implementing Continuing NHS Healthcare in Wales.
Continuing NHS Healthcare – The National Framework for Implementation in Wales – is to be implemented by Monday 16 August 2010 and follows a similar structure already in place in England.
Continuing NHS Healthcare is a package of care arranged and funded solely by the NHS, where it has been assessed that the individual’s primary need is a health need.
The new guidance contains a decision making tool which is to be used to assess an individual’s eligibility to receive continuing healthcare funding. NHS staff in Wales currently interpret local criteria to determine who is eligible for continuing NHS health care in their area. From August 16, there will be a national framework and a national decision support tool which will continue to be interpreted by NHS.
Lisa Morgan, Senior Associate with Specialist Nursing Care Team at leading law firm Hugh James says, “The new continuing care framework is welcomed but we want to see it monitored carefully to assess its impact. It is hoped that it will go some way to remove the current post code lottery system. However, the tool to assess individuals’ eligibility is still subjective and there is scope for inconsistency across the country.”
A National Framework has been used in England since October 2007 and has seen an increase in the amount of individuals eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare. Lisa Morgan goes on to say, “The new framework is very similar to the English guidance; however there are some very important differences which we are very concerned about and which we feel may have significant impact on dementia sufferers who are some of the most vulnerable in our society.”
Hugh James leads in the field of assisting people to recover fees paid to care homes.