Healthcare plans 'inconsistent'

The system for providing people with continuing healthcare is still a cause for concern, according to a report by the Auditor General for Wales.

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Auditor: more consistency needed for continuing healthcare

It's claimed people in Wales with complex health care needs are still being let down - and left out of pocket - by the system.

In a report published today, the Auditor General for Wales agreed there'd been some improvements in the provision of "continuing health care" - where the entire bill for someone's care is picked up by the state.

He also outlined areas where progress still needs to be made. Richard Morgan reports.

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Backlog of care decisions to be dealt with by 2014

There has been limited progress in dealing with a backlog of challenges over eligibility for free continuing health care in Wales which is a cause for concern, says a report published today by the Auditor General for Wales.

The Welsh Government says it aims to get the backlog of challenges resolved within a year.

We welcome this comprehensive report by the Wales Audit Office on continuing healthcare in Wales. We are pleased to hear that our 2010 guidance has led to improvements and on the basis of the recommendations now made by the WAO we will now undertake our own review of the guidance and look critically at how it can be strengthened.

In respect of retrospective claims for continuing care, we agree with the WAO that it is important that the claims that pre date our guidance are dealt with as effectively and as soon as possible. We have invested substantial additional resources in the national project being led by Powys Teaching Local Health Board and are assured that as a result the agreed June 2014 deadline for dealing with outstanding claims will be met.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Postcode lottery on free care decisions in Wales

The Auditor General for Wales says there have been improvements to the system of who gets free health care in Wales but more needs to be done to ensure consistency and fairness across Wales.

A report out today says there has been limited progress in dealing with a backlog of challenges over eligibility for continuing health care which is a cause for concern.

With an ageing population, Continuing NHS Healthcare is vital in meeting the needs of an increasing number of vulnerable people. There can be significant financial implications for those who have substantial health and social care needs but are deemed ineligible to receive CHC, and it is therefore essential that people are treated fairly and consistently when eligibility for CHC is considered.

Although the revised Framework has helped in this regard,more needs to be done, and greater urgency is required to clear the backlog of retrospective claims and disputes against decisions that has built up.'

– The Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas

Decisions 'inconsistent' across Wales on free care

The auditor general for Wales says the Welsh Government has a backlog of challenges over care cost decisions. Credit: PA

People in Wales who need Continuing Health Care are still being let down by the system according to a report released today by the auditor general for Wales. It claims progress in dealing with a backlog of challenges over eligibility for care continues to be a cause for concern.

When someone is eligible for Continuing Health Care the NHS funds the full package, including any care home fees. His report makes several recommendations to the Welsh Government which includes creating a national board to ensure all retrospective claims are processed efficiently and consistently.

The auditor says it's "essential" that people are treated failrly and consistenly across Wales when those decisions are made.

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