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25/06/13 10:07

NHS Continuing Health Care figures

Review to look at uptake across Scotland.

A review will look into how a very intensive type of care is offered to patients across Scotland, it was confirmed today.

NHS Continuing Health Care is provided to people who need specialist 24-hour-a-day intensive care from a medical professional.

Mr Ian Anderson CBE, recent Past President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, will lead the independent review which will:

assess whether the guidance is being followed, and that a consistent approach is being taken across Scotland;

assess whether improvements are needed to raise awareness of NHS Continuing Health Care amongst professionals and general public; and

consider whether an independent appeals process is required.

The latest figures show a reduction in the number of people receiving continuing care, from 2006 in March 2012 to 1711 in March 2013.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said:

"I have been very clear that if people are entitled to receive NHS Continuing Health Care in Scotland they will get it.

"This census shows a reduction in the number of NHS Continuing Health Care patients across Scotland. I am aware that many areas provide complex, joint packages of care to individuals with highly intensive needs at home, or in care home settings which would not be included in these figures.

"Even so, this reduction needs to be further investigated as does the variation in provision between Health Boards.

"That’s why I have called for an independent review panel to be established to investigate whether the guidance on NHS Continuing Health Care is being appropriately and consistently applied. I have asked Mr Anderson to report to me with his findings and recommendations later this year."

Mr Anderson said:

“Having spent my working life in the NHS in Scotland I am delighted to have been invited to chair this independent review panel.

“It is absolutely vital that we treat all patients that need or might need NHS continuing care with compassion.

“The panel will take soundings from a wide range of care professionals, carers and the public in a bid to make the process easier for all individuals involved.”

Notes to editors

NHS Continuing Health Care is a package of continuing health care provided and solely funded by the NHS. NHS Continuing Health Care may be for prolonged periods but not necessary for life and entitlement should be subject to regular review.

Eligibility is dependent on the complexity, nature or intensity of the patients health needs, or the need for frequent not easily predictable clinical interventions that require the supervision of specialist NHS staff. Eligibility is solely a matter for clinical decision.

It is likely that the majority of people in care homes would not be eligible. However, nursing care is provided free of charge for everyone.

Find the figures here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Health-and-Social-Community-Care/Publications/index.asp#1110