Finding out more about Continuing Health Care

Continuing Health Care is social care arranged and funded by the NHS for people who have been assessed as needing care to manage a health problem.
Older woman looking at camera

Some people with complex long-term health needs can be eligible for NHS funded social care. 

Who can get NHS Continuing Health Care? 

This care is for adults who need ongoing care and support because of complicated, intense or unpredictable health care needs.  You might also hear this called a 'primary health need'.  

People must live in their own home or a care home - but not a hospital. 

There's a health assessment to decide if you are eligible. And if you are, the NHS pays your social care costs. 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group - who plan and pay for most local health services - have the legal responsibility to assess local people for CHC. And if they are eligible, to fund this. 

But the assessment process is very complicated. And the eligibility criteria can be hard to understand. 

So NHS England - who lead the national health service - have developed this video to help you know what to expect. 

NHS England video about NHS Continuing Health Care

About the assessment

The assessment is undertaken by a team of healthcare professionals.  It will look at:

  • what help you need
  • how complex your needs are
  • how intense your needs can be
  • how unpredictable they are, including any risks to your health if the right care isn't provided at the right time

The results of your assessment depend on your health needs and not on any diagnoses. 

You should be involved in the process. Be kept informed and have your views taken into account. 


A decision about the assessment should be made within 28 days. 

If the CCG decide you are not entitled to NHS funded CHC - you can be referred to your local council to see if you can get help from them. In our area - this is Cambridgeshire County Council.

Right to appeal

If you don't agree with the decision the CCG has made about your CHC funding application - you do have the right to appeal.

The CCG have an established appeals process. And should help you follow this. 

Find out more

For more information about CHC and who is eligible -  take a look at the NHS website. Find out more

For information about CHC in our area - take a look at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group's website.  Find out more

Free advice

The NHS has funded Beacon - a community interest company - to give you up to 90 minutes free advice about CHC. 

Visit the Beacon website or call them on 0345 548 0300.

Find out more

Pauline's story

Local man Peter Garside has developed a website to help people with their applications for continuing healthcare.

In it he tells the story of his experience of making a continuing health care application for his wife Pauline and successfully appealing an incorrect decision. 

Read Peter and Pauline's story


Checked on 17 September 2021

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