There is currently a lot of media activity focusing upon “Care” and its funding in the future. However, none of it makes the clear distinction between HEALTH care and SOCIAL care. So what is NHS Care Funding – you need to know your rights.
Legally speaking, if a patient’s needs are primarily related to their health condition, then their resulting care should be provided for free under the NHS. However, if needs are socially related, then a patient will be means tested for their ability to pay for their care. Social needs would be related to issues such as geographical isolation, difficulty with mobility, forgetting to eat or drink, etc. Also, the ageing process is generally considered a social rather than health care matter.
Although the parameters for means testing will change in October 2023, if a patient currently has assets valued above £23,250 (including their home if they own it and live alone), they shall be required to pay their combined care AND residential costs. It is not unusual for such costs to be £750 per week or more,
In practice, nearly everyone is routinely declined NHS HEALTH care and pushed down the SOCIAL care route instead. Unless a patient or their relatives appeal an unfair refusal of health care funding, they invariably end up paying for care which they should receive for free. It is far cheaper for the NHS to only provide funding for those people who persist with their appeal for as long as is necessary. Most will either be unaware of their rights or understandably give up along the way. Indeed, the NHS employs teams of people whose main objective is to refuse funding at all costs. This is also far cheaper than providing free health care to all those who are entitled to it.
Thereafter, if patients and their loved ones do appeal an incorrect refusal for NHS Care funding, they usually encounter heavy resistance designed to dissuade them from pursuing their rights. It is not uncommon to also receive threats of geographically inconvenient care facilities for a patient if they persist with their appeal. These practices are in clear breach of the law.
Know your rights when it comes to care, care fees and NHS care funding.
Please visit trfwills.co.uk/care-funding for further information.