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Lowering the bar

As the deadline for NHS continuing healthcare claims looms, Michael Furminger says the basic issues for scoring eligibility are key

18 March 2013

NHS continuing healthcare, care funded by the NHS when needs are beyond those that a local authority can provide for, is a crucial initiative for elderly clients. Local authorities have a duty under section 21(1) of the National Assistance Act 1948 to arrange accommodation for adults ordinarily resident in their area, who, by reason of age, illness disability or any other circumstances are in need of care and attention that is not otherwise available to them.

By section 21(8), however, this duty will not apply where other legislation (primarily relating to the NHS) authorises or requires such provision. The question then is whether care in any given case is the responsibility of the local authority, which will be means tested, or of the NHS, which will be free at the point of use. Given the average cost of nursing home care, the answer to that question is worth up to

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