Foreword from the Ombudsman
“Our recommendations are rooted in the findings from the casework and point to essential changes that should be made to prevent similar failings for future care users.”
NHS Continuing Healthcare is administered by local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) with oversight from NHS England and NHS Improvement.
PHSO’s casework has been instrumental in achieving improvements in the structure and processes of Continuing Healthcare for more than 25 years. This includes contributing to the development of the National Framework, which provides guidance about decision making.
In that tradition, this report draws on 60 cases resolved in the last three years relating to Continuing Healthcare. We have found not only significant failings in care and support planning but also failings in reviews of previously unassessed periods of care. The impact of these mistakes on people cannot be understated. They constitute an abrogation of basic rights. They have led to people unnecessarily paying out large sums to cover care, or going without care because of incorrect or delayed decisions. Many have faced years of uncertainty about their future finances and experienced stress, anxiety and ill-health as a result. The NHS should be supporting people in their care needs, not needlessly adding to emotional and financial burdens.
Our recommendations are rooted in the findings from the casework and point to essential changes that should be made to prevent similar failings for future care users. The recommendations are eminently practical and achievable in terms of shared learning and skills development.
Rob Behrens CBE
Ombudsman and Chair, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Download the Continuing Healthcare: Continuing Healthcare: Getting it right [PDF 1.29 MB]
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