NHS Continuing Healthcare

NHS continuing healthcare is a package of continuing care provided outside hospital, arranged and funded solely by the NHS, for people with ongoing healthcare needs.

What is NHS continuing healthcare?

NHS continuing healthcare is the name given to a package of care that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for individuals outside of hospital who have a "primary health need".

Who is eligible for NHS continuing healthcare?

Anyone assessed as having a certain level of care needs may receive NHS continuing healthcare. It is not dependent on a particular disease, diagnosis or condition, nor on who provides the care or where that care is provided.

Your eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare depends on your assessed needs, if your needs change then your eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare may change.

What happens?

To be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, you must be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals (a "multi-disciplinary team") as having a "primary health need". Whether or not someone has a primary health need is assessed by looking at all their care needs and relating them to:

  • What help is needed?
  • how complex or complicated these needs are?
  • how intense or severe these needs can be?
  • how unpredictable they are, including any risks to the person's health if the right care isn't provided at the right time?

Eligibility criteria for continuing healthcare is defined by NHS England 

You should be involved in the assessment process and kept informed, and have your views about your needs and support taken into account. Carers and family members should also be consulted where appropriate. A decision about eligibility should usually be made within 28 days of it being decided that the person needs a full assessment for NHS continuing healthcare.

After your assessment

You will be notified in writing of the outcome of your assessment. If you are not eligible, the reasons will be explained in the letter.

You will also be given details of how to appeal if you feel the decision is wrong. Find out more about how to appeal and the local resolution process. The professional who referred you will also be informed of the outcome of your assessment.

Care and support planning

If you are eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, the next stage is to arrange a care and support package which meets your assessed needs.

Depending on your situation, different options could be suitable. The continuing healthcare team will consider your views when agreeing your care and support package and the setting where it will be provided, and factors such as the safety, quality, cost and value for money of different options will be taken into account.

Personal health budgets

If you are eligible, you will be offered a personal health budget. You will receive more information and details at this stage to help you make the decision on whether you want a personal health budget or not.  Find out more on the Personal health budget page . 


If you are eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, your needs and support package will normally be reviewed within three months and thereafter at least annually. This review will consider whether your existing care and support package meets your assessed needs and will also consider whether you are still eligible for NHS continuing healthcare.

Important information

Merton CCG has commissioned a new continuing healthcare provider CHS Healthcare who are now managing all new referrals and existing caseloads.

For any questions, you may wish to contact CHS by:

Further information

As the national policy framework is quite long and complicated, the Department of Health offers some public information on NHS continuing healthcare.

You can find this information here or on the NHS Choices website or by watching a film on NHS Continuing Healthcare produced by NHS England with NHS Greenwich via this link

You may contact our local Merton CCG Continuing Healthcare Team (CHS Healthcare) by:

Telephone 0203 957 5057

Email merccg.chcchsreferrals@nhs.net

In addition, free advice from continuing healthcare advisers funded by NHS England at Beacon can be accessed on 0345 548 0300 or http://www.beaconchc.co.uk/how-we-can-help/

Visit the Department of Health website for detailed information on the National framework for NHS continuing healthcare and NHS funded nursing care

Continuing Healthcare policies