(2) what steps he has taken in the Mid Essex Primary Care Trust area to ensure that Government guidelines on the equitable entitlement to continuing NHS healthcare achieve their objectives.
The “National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care in England”, implemented from 1 October 2007, sets out the process for determining eligibility for national health service continuing healthcare. To minimise variation in interpretation of the principles outlined in the Framework and to inform consistent decision-making, the Department has developed the national decision support tool in conjunction with stakeholders. The decision support tool supports practitioners in obtaining a full picture of needs and indicates a level of need that could constitute a primary health need as set out in the Framework. The decision support tool, combined with practitioners’ own experience and professional judgment, will enable them to apply the primary health need test in practice, in a way that is consistent with the limits on what can be lawfully provided by local authorities. It is too soon to gauge the Framework’s impact. We will review the Framework and the decision support tool in September 2008.
We have been informed that Mid Essex Primary Care Trust is committed to the principles of continuing healthcare and to working with its partners to provide funding and support to any individual who meets the national criteria.