If you care for someone they and you will have both health and care needs.
Health needs are medical needs and they are paid for, and supported, by the National Health Service. These are free for UK and EU citizens.
Care needs are non-medical support needs such as personal care (getting washed and dressed). These are means-tested.
Health and social care professionals should be working together to assess the health & care needs of the person for whom you care. As a carer you should also be involved in those discussions.
NHS Continuing Health Care
Depending upon the severity of medical needs the person may be eligible for NHS Continuing Health Care. This provides funded care at home or in a care home. To be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare the person must have a primary health need.
The person has an assessment from a multi-disciplinary team. A multi-disciplinary team consists of professionals from different departments or services. In this case the team is made up of medical and non-medical (social care) staff.
During an assessment, in which the person must be involved, the team looks at the following areas and decides how severe the impairment is:
- cognition (understanding)
- psychological/emotional needs
- nutrition (food and drink)
- skin (including wounds and ulcers)
- symptom control through drug therapies and medication
- altered states of consciousness
- other significant needs
If eligible the next stage is to agree a ‘care and support package’.