NHS Continuing Healthcareis a package of care arranged and funded by the NHS that can be in any setting – in the person’s home, or in a care home. It is available in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, though the details below may be different in Northern Ireland.

If the person is eligible, it is free and is not means tested. The NHS will pay for services from a community nurse or a specialist therapist and associated social care needs such as personal care and domestic tasks.

Anyone over 18 years of age who is assessed as having a certain level of care needs may be entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare. The assessment must show that the person has a ‘primary health need’. There are four elements that are assessed, as follows:

  • Nature – the characteristics and type of the person’s needs and the effect those needs have on the person
  • Complexity – the level of skills required to manage the person’s needs
  • Intensity – the extent and severity of the person’s needs and the support needed to meet them
  • Unpredictability – how hard it is to predict a change in the person’s needs and risks to the person if their needs are not adequately managed

For more information on NHS Continuing Healthcare in England, visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/pages/nhs-continuing-care.aspx

For information about care in Scotland, visit http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Health-and-Social-Community-Care/NHS-Continuing-Care/

For information about NHS Continuing Care in Wales, visit http://www.wales.nhs.uk/continuingnhshealthcare

For information about NHS Continuing Care in Northern Ireland, contact your local health and social care trust. Find the nearest one by visiting http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/health-and-social-care-trusts


  1. My mother is 93 and has vascular dementia.
    I lie next door and I am her carer as well as my husband with COPD.
    I have been told to get help is means tested and it in some circumstances he could lead to the sale of her house to pay for her care after she has died.


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