Age Concern has attacked new proposals on NHS continuing care published today by the government.
The Department of Health says its plans will create a national policy on eligibility and assessment, rather than the current system of strategic health authorities operating their own varying rules.
However the proposed new national framework “will not change the extent of services that can be provided free of charge, nor will it alter the underlying policy on continuing care,” according to the consultation document.
“Continuing care is broken and the proposals in this consultation will not fix it,” said Gordon Lishman, Age Concern’s director-general.
“This proposal will leave in place many of the main inconsistencies and unfairness in continuing care,” he added.
Service users found eligible for continuing care are funded by the NHS. People denied continuing care typically become the responsibility of social services.
The courts have ruled that service users are being wrongly denied funding of continuing care, including the landmark Coughlan judgement in 1999.
The Department of Health consultation on continuing care is open until 22 September.