Free care and support services without a financial assessment
You are entitled to free care and support without an assessment if you:
- have substantial and ongoing health needs - you may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding towards the cost of your health needs
- are currently registered under section 117 of the mental health act
- are in receipt of a DS1500 certificate (for non-residential care only)
People with ongoing health needs
Assessing your continuing healthcare needs
For most people, the first stage in the assessment process is to have your care needs screened against a standard Continuing healthcare checklist (The checklist indicates if you should have a full assessment).
If you have substantial and ongoing health needs, you may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding towards the cost of your health needs.
This may be carried out by:
- a nurse or a social worker before you're discharged from hospital
- a GP or a nurse in your own home
- a social worker when carrying out a community care assessment
The second stage is to have a full assessment using a decision support tool. The assessment is usually a meeting between health, social care, yourself, and any person you would like to accompany you.
NHS Corby and The Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board are responsible for assessing and making the eligibility decision for NHS CHC and NHS-funded Nursing Care in North Northamptonshire. There is a national CHC eligibility criteria.
They are also responsible for identifying, arranging and funding all of the services required to meet your needs:
- if you are assessed as being eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare; or
- for the healthcare part of a joint package of care with North Northamptonshire Council
Finding out more
Further information available about CHC:
- Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board
- NHS Choices
- National framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS funded nursing care
- GOV.UK: NHS CHC Public information leaflet
Joint care packages
If you are assessed as not being eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, you may be entitled to a joint package of continuing health and social care.
This means that the NHS and the council may share responsibility for providing and possibly funding the care agreed in your care or support plan. Such arrangements are sometimes known as a joint package of continuing care. Even if you are funding your own care you may be eligible for this.
Please note that you may be required to pay a financial contribution to the social care element of your package which is provided by the council. You will be asked to complete a financial assessment form to determine how much you need to pay.
Considering CHC Healthcare
If you have ongoing health needs, there are times when staff should consider whether you may be eligible.
- when you are ready to be discharged from hospital and your long-term needs are clear
- following a hospital discharge and rehabilitation or intermediate care, if it is then agreed your condition is unlikely to improve
- during reviews of your health or social care needs by adult social care
- if you are in a nursing home and your nursing needs are reviewed
- if your health deteriorates significantly and any current care seems inadequate
- if you have a rapidly deteriorating condition and may be approaching end of life
Requesting a CHC assessment
If you have substantial or ongoing care needs that should be assessed or if someone you care for has needs that you think should be assessed, contact the Care Manager if you already have one to request an assessment.
If you do not have a care manager, please contact your district nurse, doctor or other health professional involved in your care to request an assessment.
The Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board are responsible for assessing and making the eligibility decision for NHS CHC and NHS-funded Nursing Care in North Northamptonshire.
Find out more about the Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board.
People currently registered under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act
If you have been in hospital under Section 3, 37, 45A, 47 or 48 of the Mental Health Act 1983 your care and support needs will be free under Section 117 aftercare. The NHS and social services have joint responsibility for your aftercare.
Section 117 means that you will get free aftercare when you leave hospital.
Your care and support needs may include such services as:
- specialist housing
- meeting other people
- finding work, education or volunteering opportunities
- free prescriptions for mental health medication
People with a DS1500 certificate
If you suffer from a potential terminal illness, your GP may issue a DS1500 certificate. The certificate contains information about your diagnosis and treatment and will fast track your application for Disability Benefits: Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payments.
If you are in or going into, a care home and you have a DS1500 certificate, you will still need to complete a financial assessment and you will be assessed to work out how much you will need to pay towards your care costs.
Request an assessment or review from adult social care
If you or the person you care for has a DS1500 and you would like to request help from the council, please contact adult social care for an assessment.
If you already have a care package, you can request a review.
Last updated 15 November 2022