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NHS Continuing Health Care


NHS Continuing Care services are arranged and funded by the NHS for people that are not in hospital but have ongoing health needs.

The young person must be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals as having a ‘primary health need’ for care. This means that they need care primarily because of their health needs.

This is assessed by looking at:

  • the nature of your needs
  • how intense and severe they are
  • the complexity of your needs
  • how unpredictable your needs are; including any risks to you and others if adequate and timely care is not provided

Eligibility is always based on these needs, rather than any particular diagnosis or condition.

NHS continuing care can be provided in in any setting outside hospital, such as in the young person’s own home or in a school or residential setting.

Who is it for

NHS Continuing Care is not dependent on any particular disease, diagnosis or medical condition and is for anyone assessed as needing a certain level of health care.

People who may qualify for NHS Continuing Care include those living with a complex medical condition who require a lot of care and support or those who need highly specialised nursing support. This includes people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health needs.

Referrals to the service should be made via a health professional, GP,  Health Visitor or School Nurse.

More information on NHS Continuing Healthcare can be found on NHS Choices.

Personal health budgets

Personal health budgets support the vision of a more personalised health service. They are one way of giving people more control over decisions about when, how and from whom they receive their care.

Those who are eligible for NHS Continuing Care have the right to ask their nurse for a personal health budget and have the right to have a personal health budget if appropriate.

More information on person budgets can be found in Personal Budgets for SEN section.

Last reviewed: 28/09/2017

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