Posted by Laura Sheath

Will the NHS pay for your care costs in Bristol?

Read this guide before you pay for your care fees or your parent’s care fees in Bristol.

Check to see whether NHS Continuing Healthcare could cover the care costs and if not, there may be other financial help available.

colourful hot air balloons float in the sky over Bristol in the South West of England

Help with paying for social care in Bristol

While social care isn’t free for all in England, there are some instances where the cost of care, whether delivered at home or in a care home, is covered or partly paid for by the NHS.

There are two types of nursing care funding:

Fully-funded NHS care is called NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC). This covers 100% of care fees.

Funded Nursing Care (FNC) is a weekly allowance to cover the cost of nursing care.

Tip from Autumna:You should be assessed for NHS CHC before you’re assessed for FNC.”

How can you apply to have your care paid by the NHS in Bristol?

NHS Continuing Healthcare is not means-tested, so even if you have savings over £23,250 or own a home, you could still be eligible based on your health needs.

If you need care and want to know if you are eligible for NHS-funded care in Bristol, the first step is to contact your local authority or GP.

Tell them that you need care services and provide as much detail as you can about your health needs. If you feel unsafe in your home and if you’ve recently fallen or hurt yourself as a result of your health needs, tell your GP immediately.

What would happen next?

Either the local authority or your GP will go through an NHS CHC checklist with you.

There are two potential outcomes following the checklist:

A negative checklist: You do not require a full assessment of eligibility and are not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare

A positive checklist: You require a full assessment of eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare

Eligibility criteria for NHS CHC in Bristol

Your eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare depends on your assessed needs, and not on any particular diagnosis or condition.

The process for asking for funding help can be complex which is frustrating when you need care fast. There are some instances where assessments are fast-tracked because the person seeking care is terminally ill.

How does the full assessment for NHS CHC work in Bristol?

When you’re being assessed for NHS CHC the focus will primarily be on:

  • What help you need
  • How complex your needs are
  • How intense your needs can be
  • How unpredictable they are

Full assessments for NHS continuing healthcare are undertaken by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) made up of a minimum of 2 professionals from different healthcare professions.

Throughout the assessment, your needs are given a weighting marked "priority", "severe", "high", "moderate", "low" or "no needs".

If you have at least 1 priority need, or severe needs in at least 2 areas, you can usually expect to be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare.

Your team's assessment will consider your needs under the following headings:

  • breathing
  • nutrition (food and drink)
  • continence
  • skin (including wounds and ulcers)
  • mobility
  • communication
  • psychological and emotional needs
  • cognition (understanding)
  • behaviour
  • drug therapies and medicine
  • altered states of consciousness
  • other significant care needs

What happens after the assessment?

If you are eligible for NHS CHC, the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board will fund and organise the care required to meet your identified care needs.

That also includes accommodation costs if that is part of the overall need.

Once a suitable placement has been found for you, you’ll be notified within 28 days. It’s then your decision on whether you accept the placement or turn it down.

Will Bristol NHS pay for your care if you stay in your home?

NHS continuing healthcare can be provided for people who receive care in a care home or their own home.

Many older people receive nursing care from a home care worker or a live-in carer who specialises in the specific care they need.

How does NHS CHC affect a care placement in a nursing home?

There is an element of choice restriction.

For example, if two care homes have availability, and both agree they can meet the person's care needs but charge different rates, then the team are likely to opt for the less expensive home.

Of course, this is not always the case, but with budgets extremely tight, cost can easily become a main driver for finding care placements.

A benefit of being a self-funded care seeker is that you have a choice on where you receive your care. When you pay for your care, you’re the customer and therefore if you don’t like the quality of care or the location, you can change your mind.

For some people, that does unfortunately yet usually mean selling their property. However, selling a home to pay for care may be avoidable depending on your unique circumstances.

Not entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare? Try these:

You may not be entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare but there are benefits and other funding options that could reduce the amount you pay for your future care.

Compare care services in Bristol

Debbie Harris and her team at Autuma are proud to support people looking for care whether local authority funded or self-funded.

Autumna can help you find the best care services near you for free.

Autumna provides independent advice online or over the phone for free.

The Autumna website has over 2.5 million visitors a year and lists over 26,000 care services in the UK, including care homes, home carers, live-in carers and retirement living villages with home help.

When you need help finding, funding or planning care, ask Autumna.

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