SPECIALIST SOLICITORS, CAMPBELL AND COMPANY, CHALK UP CONTINUING NHS CARE VICTORY UNDER THE NEW FRAMEWORK
Specialist healthcare lawyer Robert Campbell has secured Continuing NHS Care funding for another client following an extensive appeals process with a London PCT, saving the family tens of thousands of pounds in care costs.
Robert Campbell & Company, who handle a great many continuing care cases as well as other healthcare related legal matters, were delighted by the result coming, as it does, after the introduction of the governmentís new National Framework for Continuing NHS Care at the end of last year.
Robert Campbell said:
"This is a milestone decision for us. When the new Framework came into force no one really knew how it would be applied".
We were firmly of the view in this case, supported by expert evidence, that our clientís primary need for care was a health need and after applying the new Decision Support Tool, the PCT agreed.
It was a concern because, whilst the new guidance does not change the substantive law (and, indeed, it underlines our approach that Continuing NHS Care is dependent upon whether the primary need for care is a health need) it tells the NHS bodies how to go about deciding what the primary need is.
As far as we, and a number of other legal commentators, are concerned the Decision Support Tool does not change the central issue and, if the primary need is a health need, it will remain so whether or not the Tool arrives at this conclusion. This is a matter for expert evidence. We also do not think the tool eliminates the possibility of inconsistency between Health Authorities in deciding eligibility as it still requires a certain degree of individual subjectivity.
Robert Campbell & Company is a specialist legal practice acting for clients nationally.
Notes to editors
1. People over 18 in England and Wales who need long term care are assessed by the authorities who decide who is to pay for it. If the primary need for care is a health need the whole care package should be provided free at point of delivery by the NHS. ("Continuing NHS Care Funding")
2. Those refused NHS Continuing Care are means tested by the local authority and will have to sell their assets to pay for the care themselves. Many families have found their inheritances lost in this way with houses being sold etc. Care in a private care home can cost around £35,000 p.a. or more.
3. Eligibility for continuing NHS care is decided by health authorities. Previously each authority had developed itís own criteria and eligibility criteria were inconsistent resulting in a "postcode lottery" of sorts.
4. In October 2007 the Department of Health, in an attempt to remove the inconsistent application of eligibility criteria introduced "The National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care." The new framework contains a "Decision Support Tool" that Health Authorities have to use in deciding eligibility. The tool does not, however, entirely eliminate subjectivity so inconsistencies may continue.
5. Robert Campbell and Company is a law firm specialising in providing advice and representation in matters relating to healthcare law. They advise clients throughout England and Wales. Principal, Robert Campbell, is a solicitor with over 25 years post qualification experience.
Specialist Legal Help
Healthcare Law Specialists, Robert Campbell & Company, represent families in continuing care disputes whether they relate to current fees or restitution of fees unlawfully lost in the past. We offer a free preliminary assessment in conjunction with an independent consultant and a capped fee service under which families can ask us to conduct the appeals process.