Continuing Healthcare

NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is a package of care that is funded by the NHS for people who need long-term care because of a disability, accident or illness.

There is a national process for deciding who is eligible for CHC. Tower Hamlets CCG follows this standard process and uses the national assessment tools to decide whether someone should get support from CHC services. More information on these tools can be found here. 

From April 2014, anyone eligible for CHC will also be able to receive the money they need as a Personal Health Budget in the form of a direct payment. This will give people greater choice and control over their care and support.

 The following NHSE video provides an overview of NHS CHC:


Who are these services for?

These services are for people who have what is known as a “primary health need” and accordingly are eligible for NHS CHC funding. This includes people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health needs, and older adults with complex physical and psychological needs. The Department of Health have produced a helpful public information leaflet.

How can I access these services?

If you feel that you, a family member or someone you care for may be eligible for NHS CHC, please speak to your social worker, community nurse, GP or Continuing Healthcare Team about an assessment.

To access CHC, people need to be screened and assessed by a nurse. In Tower Hamlets these assessments are provided by staff employed by East London NHS Foundation Trust and Bart’s Health NHS Trust.

How does the assessment process work?

In order to ensure that only appropriate people receive NHS CHC funding there is a detailed assessment process where the clinical commissioning group will assess the referred person’s health needs, determining whether they have a ‘primary health need’. The assessment tool used is known as a Decision Support Tool. The following diagram depicts a high-level overview of the assessment process:  


What is the Fast Track process?

In certain circumstances where immediate access to CHC funding is required, normally where a person has a rapidly deteriorating condition that may be entering a terminal phase, the Fast Track process may be followed. In this instance an appropriate clinician will identify the need for a Fast Track and will work through the process with the patient and their family.

Useful information

For more information about NHS CHC visit the NHS England website.

All of the guiding legislation and assessment tools for NHS CHC can be found on the website.

Who can I talk to if I have questions about CHC services?

If you want to speak to somebody about the CHC clinical care being provided please contact the ELFT Continuing Healthcare Team:

Continuing Healthcare Team
East London Foundation Trust
E1 4DG

Tele: 020 8223 8870/8867/8869
or 020 8121 4367  

For any social care queries, contact Local Link at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets:

If you have any other queries, such as eligibility, contact the Tower Hamlet CHC Eligibility Panel:

NEL Commissioning Support Unit
Tele: 020 3688 1387

If you would like to make a complaint:

If you would like to make a complaint please contact the North and East London Commissioning Support Unit (NEL CSU) Patient Experience and Effectiveness Team, which is an NHS organisation who manage the complaints process on our behalf. They can be contacted on 0203 688 1666 or email: