NHS continuing healthcare is the name given to a package of care that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for individuals who are not in hospital and have been assessed as having a “primary health need”.

To be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare the person being assessed must have substantial and ongoing care needs. They must have been assessed as having a “primary health need”, which means that their main or primary need for care must relate to their health.

If they are eligible, they can receive NHS continuing healthcare in a variety of settings, such as in their own home or a care home.

If the person you care for has a disability or if they’ve been diagnosed with a long-term illness or condition, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare.

For most people, the first step is to have an assessment with a health or social care professional using a screening tool called the Checklist Tool. If this screening suggests that the person you care for may be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, a full up-to-date assessment of their needs will be arranged, using a tool called the Decision Support Tool.

The full assessment will be carried out by a multidisciplinary team made up of a minimum of two different health or care professionals. In some cases, more detailed specialist assessments may be required from these professionals.