Continuing and individual healthcare

NHS Greater Preston CCG is responsible for making decisions about the funding of continuing (or ongoing) healthcare treatment and support, as well as individual (or personal) healthcare treatment requests.

The sections that follow describe more about what continuing and individual healthcare are, and also explains how decisions are made about what treatment or care is funded.

Continuing healthcare

Continuing healthcare is free care that is given outside of hospital, which is arranged and funded by the NHS. It is only available for people who have specific healthcare needs.

Where is continuing healthcare provided?

NHS continuing healthcare can be provided in any setting, including a care home, hospice or the patient's home.

If someone in a care home gets this type of healthcare, it will cover their care home fees, including the cost of accommodation, personal care and healthcare costs.

If this type of healthcare is provided in the patient's home it will cover personal care and healthcare costs. It may also include support for the patient's carer.

Who is able to receive continuing healthcare?

Patients that are able to get this type of care must be assessed as having a primary health need, and they must have a complex medical condition and 'substantial and ongoing care needs'.

Not everyone with a disability or long-term condition will be able to receive this type of care.

The Choice and Equity Policy provides information on the way in which the process reflects the choice and preferences of individuals but balances the need for the CCGs to commission care that is safe and effective and makes the best use of available resources.

How is it decided who can receive continuing healthcare?

An assessment is made of the patient to check that they have an appropriate primary health need.

The assessment is person centred, meaning that the patient is fully involved in the process. They are kept informed, and have their views about their own needs and support taken into account.  A patient's carer is also asked what they think.

A decision about whether someone can receive this type of care will usually be made within 28 days of an assessment being carried out.

What if it is decided that continuing healthcare cannot be funded?

If it is decided that the patient does not qualify for continuing healthcare, the local authority will be responsible for assessing their care needs and then providing appropriate social services if the patient is assessed as needing them.

If the patient does not qualify for continuing healthcare but they have other healthcare or nursing needs, they may still receive some care from the NHS.

For someone who lives in their own home, this could be provided as part of 'package of care', where some services come from the NHS and some from social services.

If the patient moves into a nursing home, the NHS may contribute towards their nursing care costs, which is called NHS-funded nursing care.

Individual healthcare

Sometimes, a patient may request through their healthcare professional, such as their GP or family doctor, to receive a healthcare service or treatment that is not normally available on the NHS.

This could be for a treatment or medicine that is not normally funded on the NHS, or for which the CCG has a policy.

The CCG is responsible for making decisions about whether these individual healthcare requests can be funded. Like any other organisation, the NHS has limited financial resources and we have a responsibility to make sure these resources are used carefully and responsibly. Read more information on the process for managing individual funding requests (PDF, 827KB)

To do this we have to:

  • Look at the evidence of the safety and effectiveness of any services or treatment
  • Make sure that the that the services and treatments we pay for will make a real difference to a patient's health
  • Make sure that those services are fair and ethical

How do I apply for individual healthcare?

The best way to apply for individual healthcare is to speak to your GP or family doctor, who will be able to talk your options through with you, and if needed, make a request to the CCG on your behalf.

Funding for individual healthcare requests

View the funding framework for individual healthcare requests that Greater Preston uses (PDF file, 242 KB)

For more information on funding meetings, the following information leaflet is available: