The number of people receiving free social care funded by the NHS continues to rise, latest figures have revealed.
In the second quarter of 2014-15 (July to August), 62,328 people in England were eligible for NHS continuing healthcare (CHC), up 0.9% on the first quarter, when there were 61,636 recipients, show figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
This continues a trend of rising numbers eligible for CHC dating back to 2009-10, when there were 47,114 people receiving NHS-funded care, meaning numbers have risen by a third in five years.
NHS CHC is a package of social care arranged and funded solely by the NHS in settings out of hospital, such as care homes, hospices or the person’s own homes. It is for people aged over 18 with a “primary health need”, which means their needs for care are of such a nature that it would be beyond the responsibility of a local authority to meet them.
Eligibility is determined by a multi-disciplinary assessment and in accordance with the government’s NHS continuing healthcare framework.
This year has marked a significant change in the delivery of NHS CHC, as in October, recipients gained the right to have a personal health budget. Today’s figures did not include the numbers in receipt of a personal health budget.