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National award nomination for Staffordshire Continuing Healthcare team

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The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Continuing Healthcare team has been recognised at a national award ceremony for their work to complete all deferred patient assessments following the COVID-19 suspension of the NHS national framework for continuing healthcare funding. 

NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) supports adults with long-term health needs with care arranged and funded solely by the NHS. Following a patient assessment, the care can be provided in a variety of settings outside hospital, such as in a person’s own home or in a care home. The NHS CHC framework setting out the assessment process was temporarily suspended between March and August 2020 to protect the NHS when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. All care that facilitated hospital discharge or prevented admission to hospital during that period would be automatically paid for by the NHS, leaving a large gap in patient assessments.

The Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit provides CHC services across the Midlands, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lancashire and South Cumbria and North Merseyside. The Staffordshire team worked in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council to successfully complete retrospective assessments of individuals supported via COVID-19 funding arrangements during the suspension of the framework. This was achieved through excellent partnerships, the development of key systems and exceptional working practices to ensure deadlines were met.

The team was nominated in the ‘Best working across CCGs and LAs (local authorities)‘ category by a senior social care worker from Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Receiving recognition in this category is particularly meaningful given that better collaboration between health and social care is one of the most significant areas of development for the NHS currently. Being nominated by the local authority highlights the effectiveness of employing a multi-agency partnership approach and is a testament to the relationships we have created for the benefit of improving patient and family experience.

The awards were organised by NHS England and Improvement to reflect and celebrate the success of the CHC Strategic Improvement Programme (SIP) Collaborative, which supports local healthcare leaders and CHC experts to work together to help improve services for the population. The SIP was key in encouraging multi-agency participation for improving outcomes for individuals in need of care.