Numbers receiving NHS-funded social care continue to rise

There has been a rise of a third in five years in the number of service users eligible for NHS continuing healthcare

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.

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2 Responses to Numbers receiving NHS-funded social care continue to rise

  1. Neil Clarke December 16, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    The increase in numbers receiving Continuing Healthcare funding must be welcomed, but we shouldn’t be deceived into thinking that the NHS is now meeting its responsibility to properly fund health care in the community. The increase of 15,000 people receiving free healthcare needs to be considered alongside the reduction of 24,000 hospital beds over this period – which has gone on despite the ageing population. We are still seeing cost shunting from the NHS to patients, carers and local authorities.

  2. Danuta Gillespie December 18, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    I know someone who was assessed by two different professional panels for CHC funding and met the criteria unanimously. All agreed he has needs above what social care would be expected to normally pay. Two years later the delay to agree the amount of funding continues and he continues to wait for a decision regarding the amount of contribution from nhs continuing healthcare funding and contribution amount from Manchester social care. The system is a shambles caused by a lack of understanding, deliberate delay and insufficient effective communication between health and socialcare.