Dying dad refused NHS funding for care

Beverley Sneezum with her father Peter Appleton who has terminal bowel cancer.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Beverley Sneezum with her father Peter Appleton who has terminal bowel cancer.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The daughter of a man with incurable bowel cancer says it is a 'scandal' that her family has to pay thousands of pounds for his care – but health bosses remain adamant he does not qualify for a special care package.

Peter Appleton, 84, who was given six months to live in January, is deemed not to have 'healthcare needs' which would enable him to have his care in a care home paid for by the NHS.

His daughter, Beverley Sneezum, 47, of Arlington Road, Norwich, said her father had the required health needs as she claimed he was severely anaemic, and had difficulty breathing.

Jackie Schneider, of North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said eligibility for funding did not depend on a specific health condition, illness, or diagnosis, who provides the care, or where the care is provided.

The issue of when the NHS should pay for a person's care in nursing and care homes is continually reviewed.

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Mrs Sneezum believes her father's care at Woodside House Care Home, Norwich, should be paid for under NHS Continuing Care, which sponsors people who need full-time care and have a 'primary health need'.

She is calling for changes to the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care, to which the NHS organisations refer when assessing if a patient's treatment should be paid for.

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Jackie Schneider said: 'Although we cannot comment on individual cases, all patients who apply for a care package under NHS Continuing Healthcare have their eligibility assessed under the same legally-prescribed decision-making process. To be eligible a patient must be assessed as having a range of complex and unpredictable care requirements relating to a 'primary health need' which means that their main or primary need for care must relate to their health.'

Do you think you're unfairly paying for care? Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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