2023 updates to PUPoC policy guidelines – what’s new?

Posted on: December 12th, 2023 by Amy

This week the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) released updated policy guidelines which aim to help those submitting requests for retrospective Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding by making clearer the application process from start to finish, and improving consistency in the way these applications are dealt with. The guidelines have been produced with input from member organisations of the CHC Alliance including Beacon, as well as other advocacy and healthcare professionals.

Retrospective assessments for Previously Unassessed Periods of Care (PUPoCs) are accessible for individuals who think they should have been considered for funding at the time but were not for reasons including they were not aware it was available. If an individual is found eligible, redress must be made by the individual’s local Integrated Care Board (ICB) to cover the costs of care that should have been paid for by the funding. Currently, ICBs should only consider requests for assessments of a Previously Unassessed Period of Care from 1 April 2012 onwards (unless in exceptional circumstances).

Click here to read our guide ‘What is an NHS CHC assessment for a Previously Unassessed Period of Care (PUPoC)?’

Unlike previous updates to guidance, there are no new deadlines before which individuals must make their applications. So what has been updated?

[You can scroll down to ‘How we can help’ to find out how we can support you with your PUPoC application]



  • Clarification and mandating of all stages within the application process
  • Alignment with the main national CHC policy (the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care)
  • Guidance on who is able to submit a PUPoC application including scenarios in which the individual was disadvantaged at the time, such as a CHC Checklist not having been completed due to the existence of Funded Nursing Care (FNC) contributions, or the individual not being informed of their right to challenge an assessment decision
  • Transfer of responsibility from the applicant to the ICB to gather the relevant care records and documentation
  • Transfer of responsibility from the applicant to the ICB to make a direct referral in the case the ICB is not the correct commissioning body
  • A new national Needs Portrayal Document (NPD). This organises all care records into care domains, and should be completed to cover the full length of the assessment period. These periods may be broken down into periods where there have been significant changes in need, or according to calendar years
  • Expectation that all cases covering an assessment period of less than 12 months should be assessed and completed within 6 months, and every request regardless of length completed within 12 months


How we can help

We are currently refining our paid services in light of this new guidance. If you require support in the form of advocacy or to understand if you have a PUPoC case, you can submit a contact form online, ensuring to choose ‘PUPoC assistance’ as the reason for your request. Please try to contact us as far as possible in advance of any important dates and let us know if there are any significant dates we should be aware of. We will get back to your request for assistance as soon as possible.

If you are in need of free support and guidance regarding PUPoC you can click here to access our repository of free online resources for PUPoC, and click here to download our Free Navigational Toolkit which includes expert guidance and advice on all aspects of CHC, including definitions, processes and timescales. Details of how to contact our Free Information & Advice service can be found here.

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