NHS Continuing Healthcare
NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is a package of care for adults aged 18 or over which is arranged and funded solely by the NHS. To receive NHS CHC funding, individuals must be assessed by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) according to a legally prescribed decision-making process to determine whether they have a ‘primary health need’.
Beacon specialises in providing information, advice, and advocacy around the complex area of NHS CHC funding. Beacon delivers an independent and free CHC information and advice service on behalf of NHS England. In addition, Beacon carries out paid casework for people trying to navigate CHC NHS funding.
Evolving Communities Consultancy was commissioned by Beacon to collaborate on a project to find out more about the quality and accessibility of information provided to people who are trying to access NHS CHC funding. The overall project was commissioned by NHS England.
We wanted to find out about the information needs of people applying for CHC, whether their needs were met, where there were gaps, and what information would help them to navigate the application system more easily. We also wanted to understand if there was equal access to quality information across the country.
We worked closely with Beacon to design a bespoke online survey to be completed by people eligible for CHC who had been through the application process, or their representatives. We also carried out four national focus groups to gather more detailed stories and views, in Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and London. In addition, as CCGs are responsible for assessing applicants CHC eligibility, we reviewed a selection of CCG websites across the country and carried out a mystery shopping exercise to build a picture of what information was already available in local areas for those wishing to apply for the funding.
We collaborated closely with Beacon to write a comprehensive report on our findings to help NHS England develop a national information resource about CHC.