NHS Continuing Healthcare postcode lottery: here to stay

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NHS Continuing Healthcare funding continues to be a postcode lottery. I share with you here the most recent simple statistics, updated to November 2018. The usual picture of large inequalities in granting care funding remains.

Some Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are granting 10 times less care packages per unit of population than other CCGs. This makes for an enormous variability. It is probably the most prominent postcode lottery in Government spending.

I call the CCGs that grant the highest number of funded packages of care the best performing CCGs. Granting funding is a good thing. I suspect that NHS England holds a different perspective. For them the best performing CCGs are those that grant less funding. These CCGs get the thumb up for the savings that NHS England has asked them to realise.

In their most recent report, NHS England spends a paragraph to explain what could cause these variations. They don’t seem to believe in postcode lotteries, and believe in “possible” explanations. Contributing factors, they say, might explain the differences among CCGs’ populations. These might be age distribution of the local population, or the variability of health needs across different geographical areas. A further factor might be the availability of alternative local services.

Sorry NHS England: I don’t buy all that. So didn’t the National Audit Office (NAO), and the Government Commission on NHS Continuing Healthcare. The NAO stated that “NHS England’s analysis shows that the variation cannot be fully explained by local demographics or other factors it has considered so far”. That is not what NHS England says to us, the public. And the NAO continues: “This suggests that there may be differences in the way CCGs are interpreting the national framework to assess whether people are eligible for CHC.”

So, what are the latest figures? I give you a table below. The table lists, for each CCG, the total number of people per 50k population who were granted NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. Hold the CTRL key and type the letter ‘F’ to open the ‘Find in page’ function to easily search for your CCG.

Use the table as your statistical predictor of how likely you are or your loved one is to be refused NHS Continuing Healthcare funding when it should be granted.

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Note:
If you do not know what your CCG name is, to find out use your postcode with this CCG finder. Prefer a map? Look at the Office for National Statistics CCG map.
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Links:

NHS England Continuing Healthcare Statistics


National Audit Office on Continuing Healthcare


 

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