Summary of report content
Healthwatch Darlington undertook this research as they had identified from their 2018/19 survey that NHS continuing health care was a priority area of concern. They undertook a survey to which 89 people responded.
72% of people surveyed were not aware of NHS continuing care. Of those that did, 12 had found out because of their professional job role.
Just under 30% of people surveyed felt that either they or someone they cared for had been considered for NHS Continuing Health Care.
Just over 60% of those surveyed were not aware that there was an initial eligibility checklist during the process.
59% of people who undertook the eligibility checklist did not make it through to the next stage. Of those that did make it through, most felt that the experience was negative.
12 people (40% of people who answered this question) found that they were entitled to NHS Continuing Health.
Darlington Clinical Commissioning Group should review the information available for patients and their families. The information needs to be clear and easy to understand. Signposting and utilising resources from national organisations such as Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society could help with this.
Darlington Clinical Commissioning Group and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust should ensure patients can seek further support if anyone is struggling to understand the process. This could be achieved through the appropriate health professionals involved with the process such as the discharge management team, social care workers and community matrons.