Exploring and Introducing The Digitisation Of NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Assessments in the south London healthcare system

The Healthcare Challenge

The NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) service supports people over 18 years old who have been assessed as having complex ongoing health needs due to disability, accident or illness. If eligible, the NHS will fund a patient’s health care needs. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) are the NHS organisations that commission local health services, and it is their responsibility to decide whether a patient is eligible for CHC support. CCG’s should decide about eligibility within 28 days of receipt of a patient’s referral. By late November 2018, half of the CCG’s in England were still struggling to achieve the national standard of 80% of decisions turned-around within 28 days.

The Solution/ Outcomes

NHS England supported the move to a digitally enabled CHC process, and the HIN identified that South London CCGs required assistance in identifying digital solutions which could be used to improve their CHC assessment process. Through engagement with other Academic Health Science Networks, the HIN’s Head of Innovation had been working with IEG4, the software company that had developed the proven digital solution which had significantly increased CCG’s adherence to the 28-day national standard.

Support From The Health Innovation Network

HIN invited IEG4 to showcase their CHC assessment solution (CHC2DST) at an Innovation Exchange workshop in November2018. The workshop brought together representatives from Clinical Commissioning Groups across London and South East and NHS England CHC SIP team to identify how digital solutions could improve their CHC assessment process.  Cheshire & Wirral CCGs presented their journey of using a digital platform to improve their CHC turnaround.  The team outlined how they had increased their adherence to the 28-day standard  from an average of  68% across their 5 CCGs to 82% ( a 20% improvement in performance) in only a few months after implementation of the IEG4 solution.

The workshop helped to engage national commissioners with local commissioners to explore the digital opportunities for improving CHC processes. Other CHC workshops are planned with other AHSNs in 2019.

For more information, visit http://www.ieg4.com/