Skip to the content

Delays, lack of progress and poor visibility cause considerable distress to patients and their families as they wait for funding assessment and decision, assessment completion and care provision. The Continuing Healthcare Checklist and the Decision Support Toolkit assessment process is inundated with paper-based forms filled out manually by health and social care professionals, As a result, professionals at the centre of the CHC process struggle to synthesise the information from the reams of paper, they receive adding to unnecessary delays.

Why is CHC a problem?

 

The Existing Process Is Increasingly Difficult To Manage

 The current continuing healthcare assessment process is designed around paper & is difficult to manage.  Half the CCGs in the country are struggling to achieve the 28 Day Decision Turnaround Standard according to published Situation Report Data.

Delays, lack of progress and poor status visibility can cause considerable distress to patients and their families as they wait for decisions regarding healthcare funding..

The current CHC process is awash  with paper.  Paper forms or fiddly word templates are filled out manually by health and social care professionals with no control over input quality.   Excel spreadsheets are manually updated to record activity status with inevitable consequences for accuracy.   In the CCG, in GP Surgeries and across the CHC stakeholder group, too much time is wasted on non-value-adding activities.

Eliminate Non-Value-Adding Activities & Focus Effort Where It’s Needed.

NHS England has mandated that the clock for CHC decisions now starts the moment a Checklist is received by the CCG.  CCGs have railed against this, but, the action to start the clock by NHS England is both considered and deliberate. 

NHS England management recognise that too much effort is spent on non-value-adding activity. By enforcing the decision to start the stop-watch, they are encouraging CCGs to take control of the referral submission process.   

In other walks of life digital enablement has eliminated non-value-added activities.   An analogy could be with a hotel finding and booking system.   Today completed information is submitted by the thousands of end users in the field. Admin clerks who add little value are consigned to history and at the same time speeds up access to the end result for all. 

Meeting the 28 Day decision turnaround as volumes increase will require the implementation of a digital solution for CCH Assessments and will open up new possibilities for the service.

CCGs must work with stakeholders in the CHC Eco-system to improve the quality, accuracy and completeness of checklists received-in and reduce down-stream wasted effort, which inefficiencies, the CCG pays for directly in its CHC Admin budget.   As volumes increase, CCGs need to apply effort only where it adds value.

 

“CHC2DST eliminates paper, captures data in intelligent forms for re-use and automates many stakeholder communications. It puts managers and administrators in control of the workflow whilst creating case audit-trails automatically. If offers significant gains in accuracy and productivity allowing our workforce to cope with anticipated increases in CHC volume.” Simon Meers - Senior CHC Commissioning Manager, NHS Dorset CCG

 

Digital Transformation Offers Stakeholders A Step-Change In Performance

The number of people assessed as eligible for CHC funding has been growing by an average of 6.4% a year over the last four years.  In 2015-16, almost 160,000 people received or were assessed as eligible for, CHC funding during the year, at a cost of £3.1 billion. 

With an increasingly elderly and frail population the costs of care packages are set to rise.  NHS England has committed to save £855 million from the projected rate of increase.  Given that spend on CHC management and administration is £150m per annum, savings will have to come from the spend on Care Packages.

“NHS England has committed to reduce £855m from the increase in CHC spend by 2021. Every CCG will have to contribute towards that. For us, CHC2DST gives greater transparency to improve the speed and accuracy of all eligibility decisions. By making timely decisions on eligibility and avoiding a build-up of backlog cases, we ensure that CHC spend is allocated from the point of eligibility and that our patients benefit from care at our negotiated rates with suppliers.” Warren Copland - Senior Finance Manager, Continuing Healthcare and Funded Nursing Care, NHS Dorset CCG

Implementing a digital solution for continuing healthcare puts CCGs in control of the Referral submission process and helps determine downstream activity levels

A digital solution makes it easier to set minimum standards for completion and to monitor the accuracy of those who submit a Checklist.    This can help to identify training needs in the stakeholders, or, in some cases to ensure that a Checklist is more accurately identified as negative – avoiding further unnecessary CHC work.

A digital solution allows trained and authorised users to complete and submit Referrals, Multi-disciplinary Assessments, and Recommendations on Decision Support Toolkits, without delay and without the need for paper.  This leads to more time available to spend on value adding activities and faster, more reliable, decisions as to the funding pathway.

“CHC2DST eliminates paper, captures data in intelligent forms for re-use and automates many stakeholder communications. It puts managers and administrators in control of the workflow whilst creating case audit-trails automatically. If offers significant gains in accuracy and productivity allowing our workforce to cope with anticipated increases in CHC volume.” Simon Meers - Senior CHC Commissioning Manager, NHS Dorset CCG

The increased transparency provided by CHC2DST allows operational management to monitor the progress of all cases on the system to ensure that 28 Day Decision Targets are met.  It frees up resource time to allow them to conduct three month and annual reviews on a timely basis to ensure that care packages are appropriate to the individual’s needs.

A Business Blueprint For Successful Digital Transformation

IEG4 has worked with its pioneer users in the Cheshire and Wirral CCGs.   IEG4s CCG clients are taking a lead role in the NHS CHC Strategic Improvement Programme, setting out the vision for a digitally transformed CHC Assessment service, which IEG4’s technology supports.

Given their responsibility for driving the vision and adoption of digital best practice, the Cheshire & Wirral CCGs have created capacity plans and target operating models to reflect changing work needs.  Additionally Cheshire’s lessons learned and experiences form their successful implementation are available to be shared with NHS colleagues who commit to Digital Transformation around CHC2DST.

As a result, CCGs which are looking to transform their assessment capabilities can benefit from a proven business integration blueprint which should accelerate benefits attainment, whilst, at the same time, reducing project delivery risk.

“If you want a low risk, quick-win project which will have an enormous impact on your Continuing Healthcare capabilities, I would encourage you to digitise your CHC assessment process”. Simon Meers - Senior CHC Commissioning Manager, NHS Dorset CCG

Uniquely-Proven CHC Assessment Functionality

CHC2DST offers uniquely proven business functionality to NHS CCGs.  Specialising in the CHC assessment process, CHC2DST is distinctly different from existing care package administration systems.  Care package admin providers do not offer the breadth of functionality across the assessment space to compare with the increasing number of live CCG sites using CHC2DST.   

IEG4 maintains an agnostic position when it comes to the care package administration system.   Like all of its clients, it is convinced that the key to unlocking the future savings promised by NHS England is to implement an effective digital assessment capability to improve the quality, accuracy and timeliness of the data entering the care package administration back office.

View the difficulties of the current CHC process through the eyes of MAUD and how CHC2DST can help with our simple infographic.