FREE Information and Advice on NHS Continuing Healthcare

Free Information & Advice Service

Beacon is the chosen supplier for the NHS-funded Free Information & Advice Service for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC). Through this service you can access general advice on NHS Continuing Healthcare, and receive up to 90 minutes of free personalised advice from a specialist Tier 2 adviser.

Our trained staff can answer your questions on any aspect of NHS Continuing Healthcare in England. We have helped thousands of people to understand the eligibility criteria, navigate the assessment process, understand the Decision Support Tool, review a decision, or begin an appeal. We can also offer guidance on funding policies and issues in your area.

Our Free Information & Advice Service consists of two tiers.

Tier 1

Our Tier 1 advisers form the front line of our I&A Service and will be the first people you come into contact with. Tier 1 advisers can provide unlimited straight forward and useful advice about CHC including how to request and prepare for an assessment; how to initiate a review of an eligibility decision, and more.

This advice can be provided via phone, email or videocall.

Outside of exceptional circumstances, you must first have a telephone call with a Tier 1 advisor before any referral is made to Tier 2.

Tier 2

For those who require more in-depth or detailed advice, our Tier 2 service can provide you with up to 90 minutes of free guidance from a trained adviser. These 90 minutes do not have to be taken in a single consultation but may be used across a number of advice sessions.

Tier 2 consultations can cover any aspect of CHC including advice on assessments; reviews of eligibility decisions; care planning processes including PHBs as well as other associated guidance and restitution; requests for retrospective funding; joint funding; FNC; responsible commissioner guidance; the review of relevant documentation prior to and/or during the consultation; recommendation of next steps.

Tier 2 consultations are usually provided via phone, however we can also arrange video calls using Microsoft Teams.

You can read our Consultation Guide to find out what to expect from your consultation and tips on how to prepare.

Please note the I&A Service cannot provide medical, financial or legal advice.

 

Contact

Please complete our Contact Form and we will get back to you via email or phone. 

Alternatively, call 0345 548 0300 and leave a voicemail with your name and phone number, and we will ring you back as soon as possible.

When you contact us you should try to include as much information as possible about your situation. This could include an overview of your situation and what stage you are at in the process; your geographical location; details of any current care arrangements; and any significant dates or deadlines. The more information you provide us with, the more quickly and accurately we can respond to your request.

Please be aware that demand for our free advice service is currently extremely high which means that waiting and response times are longer than usual. We work to a response time objective of 2 – 3 working days, however during peak times this may be longer. We are doing all we can to manage the significant increase in demand and thank you for your patience. If you can’t get through to us on the phone, please leave your details in a voicemail and we will call you back as soon as possible. You do not need to leave more than one message – we respond to every call we receive.

In the meantime please explore the free resources available on our website.

Please note: this service is funded by NHS England, and is available for people whose CHC assessment or appeal is managed by an Integrated Care Board (or a third party) in England.

This service is intended for members of the public in England. If you are looking for support or training for your staff or organisation, please visit our Professional Training page.

 

Free Navigational Toolkit

Our free Navigational Toolkit has been written by our expert caseworkers and is an essential reference for anyone navigating NHS Continuing Healthcare. It explains the system in detail, how to navigate each stage, and the pitfalls to look out for.

To access the Toolkit, enter your details on the right-hand side of this page and click ‘Register’. You will be directed automatically to a webpage with links to download the documents.

The Toolkit contains four documents:

  • How We Can Help
  • Guide to Continuing Healthcare Assessments
  • Guide to Continuing Healthcare Appeals
  • Continuing Healthcare Legal Background

 

Further Resources

You can also keep up to date with the latest national CHC News, and follow our online Blog for important information and updates on NHS Continuing Healthcare.

Click here to explore our FAQs which is a valuable repository of CHC information.

 

Information & Advice Service feedback

We are so proud that over the years that we have been running this service, our team has regularly received unsolicited feedback and testimonials for the quality of the advice they have provided.

Click here to browse a small sample of this feedback.

 

FAQs

Can you tell me if my loved one is likely to be eligible for CHC?

Eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare is based upon the presence of a primary health need which is established through an in-depth assessment process in which a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) assesses the totality of the individual’s needs.

As part of your 90-minute time allocation, our Information & Advice Service advisers can discuss your situation with you, review any relevant documents and advise on the likelihood of eligibility, however without going through the assessment process nobody can know whether an individual will or will not be eligible.

After the completion of the 90-minute time allocation, some individuals choose to proceed with one of our paid services in order for further time to be dedicated to their case. Beacon’s Information & Advice Service, and paid services teams are separate and distinct, however in this instance your case files would be passed to the paid services team.

Can you provide an update on or help me to check the status of my application?

Beacon is an independent organisation which is not part of the NHS, therefore we are unable to provide updates on or check the status of current applications.

For updates on a specific case, you should contact the Integrated Care Board (ICB) where your GP is registered. You can find your local ICB by clicking here. Do make sure to use the contact details for the continuing healthcare team if they are available.

What information should I include when I submit a Talk to Us form?

When you submit a Talk to Us form you should try to include as much information as possible about your situation. This could include an overview of your situation and what stage you are at in the process; your geographical location; details of any current care arrangements; information on the individual’s condition or symptoms; and any significant dates or deadlines. The more information you provide us with, the more quickly and accurately we can respond to your request.

How does the Free Information & Advice Service work?

Our Free Information & Advice Service consists of two tiers.

  • Our Tier 1 advisers form the front line of our I&A Service and will be the first people you come into contact with. Tier 1 advisers can provide unlimited straight forward and useful advice about CHC including how to request and prepare for an assessment; how to initiate a review of an eligibility decision, and more. This advice can be provided via phone or email.
  • For those who require more in-depth or detailed advice, our Tier 2 service will provide you with up to 90 minutes of free guidance from a trained adviser. These 90 minutes do not have to be taken in a single consultation and may be used across a number of advice sessions. Tier 2 consultations are usually provided via phone, however we can arrange video calls using Microsoft Teams.

Outside of exceptional circumstances, you must first have a telephone call with a Tier 1 advisor before any referral is made to Tier 2.

What are my options if I have used all of my free 90 minutes with a Tier 2 adviser?

Our Free Information & Advice Service entitles individuals to 90 minutes of free Tier 2 advice, per patient. If your query relates to two or more patients, you will be entitled to 90 minutes of advice per patient.

Activities included within these 90 minutes may be telephone / video consultations; written advice (via email or post); and reviewing documents as part of either of the above. Activities not included within these 90 minutes may be advice provided by Tier 1 advisers; confirmation emails or the sending of our Navigational Toolkit; time spent preparing for the consultation; any training or research required prior to a consultation.

Please note: We will only arrange a 90-minute consultation if your question requires more time and depth than can be provided through the Tier 1 advice line. Tier 1 advisers have the same knowledge as Tier 2 advisers and will continue to answer shorter questions to prevent the 90 minutes being used up unnecessarily. If you use all of the 90-minute allocation, you will still have unlimited access to the advice line.

Once you have received all 90 minutes of advice from a Tier 2 adviser, you can still contact us for advice from a Tier 1 adviser, and utilise the resources on our website. If you would like more specialist support, you can request further information from our paid casework and advocacy services by contacting us on 0345 548 0300 and selecting option 2. Our paid services team is completely separate to our Free Information & Advice team, and we will never encourage your referral unasked. If you wish to speak to our paid services team, you should specifically request a referral.

Click here to view all Free Information & Advice Service FAQs.

 

Our commitment to you

The Information & Advice Service and Navigational Toolkit are funded by NHS England, but our expert advice is proudly independent.

At Beacon we also provide chargeable casework and representation services, but this is kept entirely separate from the free advice service. When you call, we will not try to sell you anything and we will only refer you to information about our paid-for services if you ask us to.

Read more about our commitment to independence.