Keeble calls for continuing care assessment review
Caring Times, October 2014
Wide variations in the provision of NHS continuing care funding for people with dementia have been uncovered in a report by Sally Keeble, former MP and Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Northampton North.
Ms Keeble surveyed 162 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and found that there was a lack of funding for advocacy services to provide help and support for families applying for continuing healthcare support.
Only four CCGs identified specific funding for advocacy. The role of family carers in the decision-making process was frequently unclear and training of assessors was variable, with six CCGs saying they did not provide any training.
The report calls for a review of how CCGs assess people for continuing healthcare funding to protect against a postcode lottery. Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said families were often refused funding because their local CCG did 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,” said Mr Hughes.
“A thorough review of NHS continuing care is needed to ensure vulnerable people are not unfairly disadvantaged by a flawed and poorly implemented system.”