The Independent Living Fund has extended its eligibility criteria to some former residents of long-stay hospitals.
The move, which Community Care revealed the ILF was considering last December , comes five years after a review concluded that accepting such cases would have “significant financial implications”.
From 1 October, the ILF will consider applications from:
- Former patients of long-stay hospitals who are now in local authority residential care receiving social care in a residential setting;
- Former patients of long-stay hospitals in the UK who are now living in the community, for example with relatives, and are moving to live independently;
- Former long-stay hospital patients who are now in a nursing home receiving care partly funded by a health authority and partly by a local authority.
It has not received any extra funding to meet these new cases.
ILF policy development manager Michael Beacroft said trustees anticipated the body could fund applicants under the new criteria within its existing budget, but said they would keep a “careful eye” on the number of applications in case the move created additional costs.
The ILF is also in talks with the Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health about the possibility of taking applications from people moving from current long-stay hospital or NHS campus accommodation arrangements.
This is likely to have major financial implications because there are thousands of people currently living in these settings.