FAQs > Beacon

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Who are Beacon and how can you help?

Beacon was established in 2013 for the purpose of providing independent and high-quality support to individuals and their families in England who need help navigating the NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment, resolution and care planning / commissioning processes.

Beacon evolved from a service offered by Age UK Oxfordshire, and we now operate as a registered social enterprise, with a core set of ethical social objectives and values through which all of our work is delivered. Beacon itself is not a charity, but we are a non-profit organisation.

For almost a decade, our team of specialist caseworkers have fought for people trying to navigate the maze of NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding.

Our aim is to ensure that every individual with ongoing care needs receives fair, in-depth and independent advice about every aspect of the continuing healthcare process and criteria. We don’t just recite what’s in the Framework, we tell you how it actually works, what your rights are and how to make sure you receive the care and financial support you are entitled to. If you wish to challenge your decision we can manage your case through the entire appeal process. We firmly believe that understanding the system empowers people to make informed choices that are in their best interests.

We are the only Continuing Healthcare support service that is endorsed by Age UKParkinson’s UK, the Spinal Injuries Association and EAC FirstStop.

How can I book my free 90-minute consultation with one of your specialist advisers?

You can contact our Free Information & Advice Service by filling in a contact form or by giving us a call on 0345 548 0300. When you call we can assist with general advice or can book you a consultation of up to 90 minutes with a specialist adviser (which may be split over more than one session). This consultation is usually provided on the phone, but we can also arrange video calls using Microsoft Teams. If you are at the very beginning of the process or are looking for guidance as to CHC definitions and processes you may be able to find the resources you need on our website.

Are you independent?

Yes, Beacon is a staunchly independent organisation. We strive to improve CHC for everyone by training health and social care professionals; we are frequently called upon by government and public sector organisations to input into and influence national CHC guidelines and policy development; and we are confident in calling out and challenging examples of bad practice where we see it, something our team have been doing for over 20 years. We are a proud member of the Continuing Healthcare Alliance which works with local decision makers to recognise the importance of improving NHS Continuing Healthcare, and campaigns to improve the system.

Our extensive experience and historic knowledge of CHC gained through the unique position we occupy is second to none.

We are proud of our affiliation with NHS England. But we are also committed to the independence of our organisation and that of the support and advocacy we provide. We fiercely uphold and protect this independence because it is the bedrock of what we do.

Are you lawyers?
Beacon does not employ solicitors and we cannot assist you with legal processes or litigation. All of our caseworkers have extensive experience in either health or social care and are experts in the field of NHS Continuing Healthcare.
Can you tell me if I will win my appeal just by looking at my assessment paperwork?
Eligibility for continuing healthcare is established through an in-depth assessment process in which a multidisciplinary team fully assesses the totality of an individual’s needs. Assuming the assessment and Decision Support Tool (DST) has been completed with accuracy and in detail, our specialist caseworkers will be able to advise you as to whether or not you have a case and provide comprehensive guidance about the specific avenues of appeal we have identified. We can then manage your entire appeal.

Unless evidence can be obtained to suggest that your needs are definitely equal to two Severe levels of need or a Priority level of need across the care domains in the DST, it is not possible for anyone to be 100% certain of success at appeal. However the extensive knowledgebase we have built up over more than 13 years in continuing healthcare will enable us to give you a good steer as to your chances of success. If we do not believe you have a case we will inform you.

Why do you charge for specific advocacy and casework?

Having realised the need for ethical and honestly-priced national representation in the field of NHS Continuing Healthcare, Beacon was set up to meet the needs of individuals who are unable to navigate the CHC system alone and feel they need further support. We provide specialist advice and casework at a reasonable cost and commit to the following principles for your peace of mind:

  • Our hourly rates are roughly two-thirds lower than the average and we commit to keeping them permanently low.
  • Beacon is a social enterprise with profits donated back to supporting charitable objectives that are in line with our aims.
  • We are realistic with our clients about chances of success and aim never to mislead.
  • We share our extensive expertise with our clients to ensure they understand the assessment process and are able to make informed choices at each stage.
  • We do not offer ‘no win no fee’ services so if you win your case we will not take a large proportion of your reclaimed care fees away from you.
  • If we know about a free and reputable continuing healthcare support service in your area, we will tell you about it.

For more information and to see our customer charter please download or request a copy of our free Navigational Toolkit.