Councils push for eligibility rethink

Councils in Surrey and Sussex are pressing health colleagues to change their policies on NHS continuing care to reduce the number of people wrongly denied full funding.

Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, Surrey and West Sussex councils are in talks with Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority and primary care trusts to tackle concerns raised by the councils last year.

In a paper issued in October, the councils said the SHA’s eligibility criteria and their application by PCTs resulted in people being wrongly denied continuing care and becoming social services’ responsibility.

For instance, the criteria say that people likely to die in the “near future” should automatically qualify, before suggesting this refers to people four to six weeks from death. The councils said the suggested limit was “unreasonable” and was being used “prescriptively” by PCTs, and called for it to be extended to 12 weeks.


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