The department of health has finally issued its guidance on
continuing care: NHS and local councils responsibilities as
circular HSC 2001/015: LAC (2001) 18.
The guidance calls on health authorities “working very closely
with local councils” to ensure that joint continuing health and
social care eligibility are agreed by March 2002, and that the
extension of review and complaints procedures are also in place by
In essence, the guidance emphasises the need for the NHS to fund
a full range of continuing care through its criteria, and ensure
there are no gaps in service provision.
The review procedure has been extended to include all decisions
about continuing care eligibility (not just those for those about
to be discharged).
However, the review procedure is limited to assessing whether an
individual comes within the criteria in place, rather than
examining the lawfulness of the criteria.
Doughty Street Chambers