Another fall in NHS Continuing Care (CHC) numbers

The CHC figures for the last quarter of 2017-18 have been released.[1]  They show that in April 2018 the total number of people eligible for NHS CHC in England stood at 54,411. Of these, 37,114 were eligible for standard NHS CHC and 17,297 were eligible for Fast Track NHS CHC.

In the last three years the number of people eligible for NHS CHC in England has dropped by almost 15% (a fall of over 8,500 – from 63,000 to 54,411).[2]  During this period the NHS has shed over 8,500 overnight beds.[3]  As I have noted in an earlier ‘post’ the English population does not appear to be any healthier and the fall in CHC numbers is almost certainly attributable to a change in the way Clinical Commissioning Groups assess for eligibility.

There is no average ‘cost per day’ figure for an NHS bed but it is safe to assume that it is more than the average daily cost for nursing home resident – which is about £110.[4]

If one ignores the loss of overnight beds, the figures suggest (if my calculation is correct) that since 2015 the NHS has shunted at least £340 million of costs per annum to social services authorities and families – ie over £2 million in each social services authority area.  If one includes the loss of beds, this figure doubles.

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[1] NHS England NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS- funded Nursing Care Report Quarter 4 Report, England 2017-18 (NHS England 10 May 2018).
[2] Health and Social Care Information Centre NHS Continuing Healthcare, activity statistics Quarter 4, England 2015-16, experimental statistics Annex 1, report tables and subnational data (HSCIC 2015).
[3] NHS England Average Daily Available and Occupied Beds (KH03) Time series Feb 2018 – a fall of 6% – from 136,946 to 128,413 –  and the occupancy ratio has not changed.
[4] LaingBuisson, Care of older people. UK market report. Twenty-seventh edition 2015.