Social work and end-of-life care

Social work is important in end-of-life care

Continuing healthcare judicial reviews: assess very carefully

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I’ve not been looking at continuing healthcare recently – this is the process of assessing people for NHS funding rather than social care funding of care packages, and involves what is now a Clinical Commissioning Group deciding that someone has a difficult to provide-for healthcare need, rather than a social care need. It is particularly relevant to end-of-life care, since many patients will met the criteria.

There are two recent judicial reviews. The Dennison case was a retrospective case, where a relative appealed for belated payments after the death of the patient. The result was partially positive, the reason being that the assessor had not fully completed to assessment; they needed to complete the comments boxes and make a clear assessment of need. Nurses usually do this job, and this tells you that you need to train them well and they have to be very literate and thoughtful about how they complete the forms; the implications, both for the CCG and the relatives, of awarding Continuing Healthcare are such that this is never a routine or tickbox exercise.

Link to the Dennison case.

The Whapples case was about whether the CCG could insist that other alternatives should be looked at.  The answer was ‘yes’. This case was partly about suitable housing, but I find this interesting because my experience is that adult social care departments often insist on a continuing healthcare assessment if they think there’s any prospect of an award, before they will look at a community care assessment.

Link to the Whapples case

Link to a legal commentary (Hill Dickinson)

Link to a Mental Health Care Online report.

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Written by Malcolm Payne

2 October 2014 at 11:48 am

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