An ITV News investigation has discovered the quality of NHS care if you are very elderly or very sick depends on where you live. While some patients in London are paying thousands of pounds for support at home, others are getting theirs absolutely free. Paul Brand reports.
The NHS's Continuing Care scheme for long-term patients with serious health problems has been criticised after it emerged that some councils do not follow guidelines when deciding who should receive it. Mark Wadham has struggled to get funding for his mother who is in a care home.
NHS Continuing Care funding is available for people who have serious health needs because they’re ill, disabled or have had an accident. Unlike social care funding, it's not means tested, so anyone is entitled to it.
But in London you’re almost 7 times more likely to get it if you live in Barking and Dagenham than if you live in Brent. You’ve got a decent chance in Haringey, Kensington and Chelsea and Redbridge too. But hard luck if you live in Lewisham, Wandsworth and Southwark – not many people there get it.
That inequality is despite government guidelines saying all Primary Care Trusts must follow the same rules when assessing patients for the funding. But London Tonight has found many people never even know they’re entitled to it in the first place, or can’t get an assessment.