On 1 April 2017, NHS England started a programme to look at how Continuing Healthcare (CHC) services can be improved. The programme is called the NHS Continuing Healthcare Strategic Improvement Programme and it will run for two years, until 31 March 2019.
The Programme aims are to provide fair access to NHS Continuing Healthcare in a way which ensures:
- Better outcomes
- Better experience
- Better use of resources
The Programme goals are to:
- Reduce the variation in patient and carer experience of CHC assessments, eligibility and appeals.
- Ensure that assessments occur at the right time and place, with fewer assessments taking place in hospitals.
- Work with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the country to identify best practice that can be adopted by other CCGs.
- Set national standards of practice and outcome expectations.
- Make the best use of resources – offering better value for patients, the population and the tax payer.
- Strengthen the alignment between other NHS England work programmes which have a CHC component, such as Personalisation and Choice.
The CHC Improvement Collaborative
A key part of the programme is the CHC Improvement Collaborative. This is bringing together local healthcare leaders and CHC experts, allowing and supporting them to work together to help improve services for the population. The Collaborative consists of three groups:
- The Development Group – 10 groups of CCGs (26 CCGs in total) and their Local Authorities, who are heavily involved in the programme learning, testing and change.
- The Test and Scale Group – 16 groups of CCGs (26 CCGs in total) and their Local Authorities, who will help to spread the improvements and test the potential to replicate the benefits in other areas.
- The Improvement Community – All CCGs and their Local Authorities have been invited to contribute and are engaged regularly with the programme.
Throughout the programme we will ensure that changes and improvements to CHC are co-designed. This will mean that any changes made are informed by people who are involved in, or receive CHC, to ensure the best possible services for those who need them.