As reported in The Times on Wednesday 25th January 2017, new restrictions on NHS funding means that thousands of seriously ill patients could be forced out of their homes.
The new policy has stated that in some areas of the UK, the Health Service will no longer pay for carers to visit patients at home if it is cheaper for them to be in a residential care home.
The criteria for inclusion is complex, however, patients who mainly require care on health grounds in contrast to age or disability, may still have their fees paid for them by the NHS.
It has been stated that nineteen Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have said that they won’t fund care in a person’s home if it is 10% more expensive than an alternative suitable option. Seven have set higher caps with a further eleven saying that they will be restricting individual costs.
The Health Service Journal has revealed that this could affect over 13,000 people with restrictions likely to be more widespread as many CCGs have not responded.
It has been estimated that these restrictions will affect anyone receiving more than seven hours of residential care per day as this costs roughly £750 per week.
Concern has been raised over the legalities of these policies, however, it has been concluded that they may be justified on the grounds of cost. Many find this alarming as they believe decisions should be made individually based on need and not purely on cost. It is also over-ruling the guidance set by NHS England that people with terminal illnesses should be supported in their preferred place of care. Effectively, people will be denied their choice of where they die.
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