What is NHS continuing healthcare?
NHS continuing healthcare is free care for people who have significant and ongoing healthcare needs. It’s often referred to as CHC funding.
If you have long-term complex health needs, you may qualify for free social care arranged and funded solely by the NHS. This is known as NHS continuing healthcare.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, you must be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals (a multidisciplinary team). The team will look at all your care needs and relate them to:
- what help you need
- how complex your needs are
- how intense your needs can be
- how unpredictable they are, including any risks to your health if the right care isn't provided at the right time
When should NHS healthcare be considered?
If you have ongoing health needs, there are times when staff should consider whether you may be eligible.
- when you are ready to be discharged from hospital and your long-term needs are clear
- following a hospital discharge and rehab or intermediate care, if it’s then agreed your condition is unlikely to improve
- during reviews of your health or social care needs by Adult Social Care
- if in a nursing home, whenever your nursing needs are reviewed (this should be at least annually)
- if your health deteriorates significantly and any current care seems inadequate.
- if you have a rapidly deteriorating condition and may be approaching the end of your life
Your GP, social worker, or staff coordinating your care should talk with you about NHS continuing healthcare. If they don’t, you can ask them for an assessment.
Find out more
You can find out more about NHS continuing healthcare, and see if you're eligible, on the NHS website.