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Care cuts could put patients' safety at risk, warn MPs. Commons public accounts committee has warned against advice to cut spending to NHS’s Continuing Healthcare

January 22, 2018

 

Calls for cuts to the cost of care for some ill and disabled patients could put safety at risk, MPs have said.

Officials want local health bodies to cut the amount spent on the NHS’s Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding packages and NHS-funded nursing care by hundreds of millions of pounds over coming years.

The Commons public accounts committee said it was unclear how this could be done without raising the threshold for eligibility or limiting the packages available, “both of which will ultimately put patient safety at risk”.

CHC is a package of care provided outside hospitals, such as in people’s homes or in care homes, that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS through clinical commissioning groups.

People must have a significant health need that goes above and beyond usual social care needs, such as help with washing or dressing.

The committee’s new report on CHC states that “too often” patients’ care is compromised because they are not made aware of the funding available or are not guided through the “hugely complicated” process of accessing funding.

Last year, the National Audit Office described how decisions on whether somebody is eligible for continuing healthcare should be made within 28 days, but one in 10 people wait longer than 100 days.

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