NHS Continuing Health Care is the name given to a package of services which is arranged and funded by the NHS for people outside hospital with ongoing health needs. You can get continuing healthcare in any setting, including your own home or in a care home.
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NHS Funded Nursing Care is provided to clients residing in a registered nursing home only. The local authority cannot provide clinical services because the NHS is responsible for any care that must be provided by a registered nurse. For people in care homes providing registered nursing care, registered nurses are usually employed by the home itself. In order to fund this nursing care the NHS makes a payment to the care home to cover the cost of providing the care for those who are eligible.
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NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) was established in 1995. In 2001, NHS Funded Nursing Care (FNC) was also introduced for people paying their own fees. In 2003 NHS FNC extended to Social Services funded clients.
The Department of Health launched the new National Framework on Continuing Healthcare and Funded Nursing Care (DoH website) on 1 October 2007. The intention of the National Framework was to be more consistent and equitable by introducing a single set of principles on who is eligible for the different levels of NHS funding in England and what is received, as well as setting out a standard process for assessment of eligibility.
Following the launch of the National Framework, NHS Sheffield facilitated a series of workshops across the city to consult with other services to agree operational protocols for CHC and FNC. These services included: all care groups from Neighbourhoods and Community Care, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Royal Hallamshire, Northern General and Weston Park Hospitals), Sheffield Health and Social Care services, St Lukes Hospice, Sheffield PCT provider services, e.g. District Nursing, Intermediate Care and Brain Injury Provider.
The National Framework has brought about some fundamental changes in the way the NHS and local authorities must work. There is a responsibility to ensure that anyone who is potentially eligible should be considered for NHS funding. Further to this the NHS has the lead responsibility for ensuring that people are considered for NHS CHC or FNC where as previously the local authority had lead responsibility for this. The NHS must establish whether an individual has a Primary Health Need or not. If a person does not have a Primary Health Need and is not eligible for fully funded NHS care (CHC) they can then be considered for NHS FNC and/or social care.
The National Framework for CHC/FNC has been revised by the DoH and was made available in July 2009. Please see The Revised National Framework, July 2009 Section to download a copy of the revised framework documentation and the revised 'Tools' for CHC/FNC - which will be effective from 1st October 2009.