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justice seeker said on 03 February 2011

My mother-in-law has end stage dementia. She is completely immobile and confined to bed. Her carers have to turn her every 2 hours to prevent pressure sores. She is doubly incontinent. She is unable to communicate. Swallowing creates a choking hazard for her and she has to be fed extremely carefully (having been hospitalised with a lung infection following food getting into her lungs). Following two NHS assessments she has at least one severe need (cognition). Another possible severe need (mobility) , 2 high needs (nutrition & communication) 4 moderate needs (psychological & emotional needs, continence, drug therapies & symtom control, skin) and 3 low needs (behaviour, breathing, altered states of consciousness). Yet the Continuing Healthcare Team in LIverpool have decided she is not eligible for Continuing Healthcare. So I was interested to read your advice on this website that "If the person you're looking after has priority needs in particular areas, or severe needs in at least two, then NHS continuing healthcare should be provided. Someone can also qualify for NHS continuing care if they have a severe need in one area plus a number of other needs, or a number of high or moderate needs. In these cases the overall need, and interactions between needs, will be taken into account, together with evidence from risk assessments, in deciding whether NHS continuing healthcare should be provided." I have many more issues to raise with Liverpool PCT in the coming months/years as I believe a 'Primary Health Need' is being misinterpreted by local NHS assessors and that they do not appreciate the difference between social care and healthcare. I believe , for whatever reason, the National Framework for Continuing Healthcare and the NHS Continuing Healthcare Practice Guidance are not being referred to when these extremely important decisions are being made. How many have the strength to fight whilst watching their loved ones dying? Justice seeker.