DOH Care Guidance A Smoke Screen - Alzheimer's Society Offers Help
Responding to the framework's shortcomings, the Alzheimer's Society stepped in to launch a network of volunteers who will use their experiences to help others navigate through the tricky care system.
Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society said,
'The current system of care funding is a public scandal that discriminates against thousands of people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. This has to stop. Today's announcement is a step in the right direction and may mean that some additional people with dementia will get access to funding for long term care.'
'Despite this, there is no escaping that the current care system is broken and needs a complete overhaul. Thousands of families will still be left struggling with astronomical care bills. We need a national debate on who pays for care.'
'Today we are launching the "NHS continuing care volunteer network" which will be championed by volunteers who have won continuing care cases after lengthy battles. Using the new guidance and the network's expertise, we hope thousands more people will get access to the care funding they deserve.'
Mike Pearce, a volunteer who will help others as part of the Alzheimer's Society's new network says,
'Many people are wrongly denied help paying for care because the system is deliberately confusing. My own battle took many years to get back the £50, 000 I paid for my mother's care. It wasn't about the money, it was about getting the support my mother deserved. I hope I can show other people who are struggling at such a difficult time to how do the same.'
'The Alzheimer's Society is urging people who think they have been wrongly charged for care to seek a review of their care case by asking their PCT or equivalent organisation for a continuing care assessment. If people have already been turned down for fully funded care and are not satisfied, they should request a review using the new guidance.'
People who would like to get in touch with the NHS continuing care volunteer network should visit www.alzheimers.org.uk for more information.
The framework will be considered a best practice guide until 1 October 2007 when it will become directions.
Registered Nursing Care Contributions (RNCC) will also change. Currently people can received three different levels of contributions towards their care depending on the complexity of a person's health needs. From 1 October 2007, the three different levels (bands) will be replaced by a single band.
Continuing care or fully funded NHS care is care given over an extended period of time, as a result of disability, accident, or illness. It may address physical and mental needs and therefore require services from both the NHS and/or social care.
A copy of the new framework will be available, funded separately.
Registered Nursing Care Contributions (RNCC) bands are contributions made towards the costs of care according the complexity of a person's condition. Currently there are high, medium and low bands. From 1 October 2007 the three bands will be replaced a single RNCC band.
Advice and a guide to challenging an assessment of NHS continuing care is available at Department of Health website
The Alzheimer's Society is calling for a national debate on who pays for care. People are willing to make a contribution towards the costs of care but only if the system is more transparent and equitable and the care is of a higher quality.
1 in 3 older people will end their lives with a form of dementia.
700,000 people in the UK are affected by dementia, more than half have Alzheimer's disease. In less than 20 years nearly a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051.
The Alzheimer's Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and those who care for them. The Alzheimer's Society works in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
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