Ensuring the best chance of an accurate CHC Assessment

Posted on: May 12th, 2023 by Amy

Image courtesy of Peter Kindersley via the Centre for Ageing Better age-positive image library

The NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Assessment, sometimes known as the Full Assessment, is a detailed appraisal of your care needs, which uses a form called the Decision Support Tool (DST) to decide if you are eligible to receive NHS Continuing Healthcare funding.

A Full Assessment is usually triggered when an individual ‘passes’ a screening stage using the Continuing Healthcare Checklist. It is also performed for people who are already eligible and are being reassessed to see if they remain eligible. The assessment is coordinated by the CHC team at the local NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB), or a third party who have been commissioned to do this on their behalf. They should contact you to arrange an assessment within days of receiving a positive Checklist result.

Following the recommendation from the Multidisciplinary Team who complete DST, it is the ICB who make the final decision as to whether the individual is eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (though this decision should uphold the recommendation of the MDT in all but clearly defined exceptional circumstances). If eligible, NHS Continuing Healthcare funding should be awarded and paid from 29 days after the positive Checklist assessment was received by the ICB.

Click here to read more about the Full Assessment process.

Everyone deserves an accurate, detailed and fair assessment and in theory it should be possible to prepare for and undergo the assessment and DST independently. However it is also true that if you receive a negative decision regarding your assessment, entering into the appeals process can be a very long and costly process. Therefore it is of the utmost importance to give yourself the best possible chance of achieving a fair and accurate assessment, first time.

Recent feedback from our clients suggests that they are being discouraged from using an advocacy service to support them at assessment, and while it is true that choosing to use an advocacy service often has its associated costs, both financially and in terms of time, these are far lower than having to enter into the appeals process as a result of a negative assessment outcome should you need professional support.

At Beacon we recognise that every case is different, and our personal approach to helping and supporting our clients can give you the best possible chance of a positive decision first time. Beacon’s Assessment Advocacy services help you to understand the eligibility criteria and Decision Support Tool, prepare you for the assessment meeting on the day, and ensure that the evidence accurately reflects your care needs. This is quicker, simpler, and less stressful than having to appeal a negative decision if you think your assessment was inaccurate or unfair.

Our expert team of caseworkers are all highly trained professionals who work solely in this area. We pride ourselves on our exceptional bespoke, values-led service, unrivalled by law firms working in this area. We get to know you and your loved one because, in our experience, a deep understanding of the person and their care needs is key to achieving a fair and accurate funding assessment.

NHS Independent Panel members regularly tell us that our client representation is amongst the best they have seen, and clients say that our presence offers enormous reassurance.

“Beacon supported me when my mother was assessed earlier this year. I decided to appoint them from the ‘get go’ rather than wait until I had to appeal. I’m so glad I did as their experience in these matters was invaluable. The advocate advising me ensured that my mother got a fair hearing, protected me from inappropriate questioning and generally held my hand and spent a great deal of time preparing me…I was lucky that I was aware of Beacon and turned to them for support and that’s exactly what I received – complete support and a genuine desire to fairly evaluate our case. I was dealt with honestly and fairly by Beacon and would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone requiring guidance and advice in respect of CHC assessments” – Olivia (via Trustpilot)

“We wished we had known about Beacon and used them for advocacy at the initial DST, and would certainly suggest that to anyone starting on this process as it may well save a lot of time and heartache in the long run. Throughout the process everybody we dealt with at Beacon was fantastic – friendly and diligent in their work and support. Highly recommended” – Nick (via Trustpilot)

How we can help

Click here to find out more about our Assessment Advocacy services, and how we can tailor these to suit your individual needs.

Get in touch by calling 0345 548 0300 and selecting option 2, or emailing enquiries@beaconchc.co.uk.

You can also explore our range of free online resources including our Free Navigational Toolkit, and our Top Tips on preparing for your CHC Assessment.

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