National Audit Office report on Continuing Health Care (CHC)
The NAO’s findings paint a clear picture of a failing Continuing Health Care system, reinforcing the findings of the CHC Alliance’s 2016 report.
A postcode lottery of access to care means that many people living with severe illness and disability miss out on the vital support they are entitled to, while others experience unacceptable delays in accessing it. Eligibility criteria are often inconsistently applied and the assessment process not correctly followed, so that neither patients nor professionals have confidence that people will receive the support they need.
A lack of monitoring and assurance mechanisms means there is very little scrutiny of how the system is functioning. Yet despite these failings, the continued prospect of further funding cuts threatens to make the situation even worse.
CHC is a source of essential care funding for some of the most vulnerable people in society, and it cannot be acceptable for the system to continue to fail them in this way. We call on the Department of Health and NHS England to address these issues as a matter of urgency and we will continue to push for a fair, effective and adequately funded CHC system as a priority.