Health Care Vs Social Care
What are Social Care needs?
There is no formal definition of Social Care, but its often described as dealing with the “activities of daily living”, that means needing help with day to day activities like feeding, washing and dressing, mobility, using the toilet, etc, but it also includes requiring help in terms of maintaining independence, social interaction, protection from vulnerable situations and help in managing complex relationships.
What are Healthcare needs?
There is more (although not absolute) clarity in terms of the definition of Healthcare needs.
A healthcare need is one related to the treatment, control or prevention of a disease, illness, injury or disability and the after care of a person with these needs.
Whilst not defined in law, this definition of healthcare needs is set out in what is known as the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care (November 2012 Revised).
Although this does not form part of any Primary Legislation, sections of the National Health Service Act 2006 require the provision of health services, which taken together, with the requirements of Local Authority Legislation effectively require the NHS to provide what is known as, NHS Continuing Healthcare (Funding). i.e. the obligation of the NHS to pay for care FREE of charge.
The National Framework sets out a “Primary Health Needs Approach” which the NHS is bound by.
The National Framework establishes that where the primary need for care is a health need, then the responsibility for providing for that health need lies with the NHS, even if the individual is in a Local Authority care home, or indeed a private nursing home, or receiving care at home.
There have been various rulings in the Courts, including the landmark “Coughlan Case” in the Court of Appeal, which established in broad terms, that only if someone’s health needs are incidental to their overall care needs should the responsibility for care be passed to the Local Authority.
So, in simple terms, if you or your relative has a primary healthcare need, the NHS should provide and pay for your care – all of it – 100% – including your care or residential home fees – and this is done through what’s known as NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding.