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Charity slams CCGs Continuing Healthcare provision

Charity slams CCGs Continuing Healthcare provision

21 August 2014

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Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are showing wide variation in NHS Continuing Care provision for people with dementia, a new report has warned. 
NHS Continuing Healthcare is a funding package which provides free healthcare for people with severe health needs. 
However, a survey of 162 CCGs found a lack of funding for advocacy services to provide support for families applying for continuing healthcare support. Just four CCGs said they had specific funding for advocacy. 

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are showing wide variation in NHS Continuing Care provision for people with dementia, a new report has warned. 
NHS Continuing Healthcare is a funding package which provides free healthcare for people with severe health needs. 
However, a survey of 162 CCGs found a lack of funding for advocacy services to provide support for families applying for continuing healthcare support. Just four CCGs said they had specific funding for advocacy. 
And the training of assessors is of variable quality, with six CCGs saying they do not provide any training. 
The report, released by former MP Sally Keeble, calls for a review of how CCGs assess people for continuing healthcare funding. 
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society called the system “flawed and poorly implemented”. 
He said: “The financial support provided by NHS Continuing Healthcare is a lifeline for people with dementia and their carers. Callers to our Dementia Helpline tell us that applying for continuing healthcare for a loved one with dementia is a minefield. All too often we hear of families who are refused funding because their local CCG does not adhere to proper process.
“It is entirely unacceptable that there is no duty on CCGs to fund advocacy services – which are essential to support families through the complex assessment process.” 
Hughes called for a “thorough review” of NHS Continuing Healthcare to ensure vulnerable people are not unfairly disadvantaged. 

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