If you need any more proof that our care system is deeply flawed, then look no further than a type of funding known as continuing healthcare.
NHS continuing healthcare is supposed to be paid to those with complex, severe or unpredictable health needs.
But as we reveal today, many who may be eligible are not being told about this vital funding, while others are being unfairly refused.
Many who may be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare are not being told about this vital funding, while others are being unfairly refused
Even worse, recipients are finding themselves suddenly stripped of these payments years after they were granted, despite their health deteriorating.
And, without this funding, anyone with assets worth more than £23,250 must pay for care themselves — which can often mean selling the family home.
It is clear that the system is in desperate need of an overhaul to ensure everyone who is entitled to this extra financial help gets it.
There also needs to be far more consistency when it comes to deciding who qualifies.
It is down to local clinical commissioning groups to assess whether a patient’s health needs are serious enough. But the guidance they base these decisions on is vague and open to interpretation.
It means families in similar circumstances routinely receive different outcomes, depending on who handles their case.
It also cannot be right that patients are put through unsettling assessments each year to check that they are still eligible.
And in the rare instances where it may be appropriate to stop the payments, the reasons behind these devastating decisions must be made more clear.
This funding can mean the difference between having all of your care paid for, or none — and it could save someone the indignity of having to sell their home.
Justice for nurses
Great news that chair of the Health Select Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston, has backed our calls for Health Secretary Matt Hancock to investigate why GP practice nurses have been denied a fair pension.
In June, Money Mail revealed how a bizarre oversight meant practice nurses were excluded from the NHS pension scheme until 1997.
This is despite colleagues working elsewhere in the NHS, including district nurses and the GPs they worked alongside, all being allowed to contribute.
Since raising the alarm, we have been inundated with letters and emails from practice nurses across the country pleading for justice.
Dr Wollaston has now asked Mr Hancock to explain how this issue has been allowed to arise and what options are available to help these nurses, who cared for the public. On behalf of everyone who has taken the time to write to us, I urge him to respond swiftly.
On the topic of women and pensions, it is disappointing that we have not yet received a High Court ruling regarding changes to the state pension age.
In June, campaigners took the Department for Work and Pensions to court over claims that raising the state pension age unlawfully discriminated against women born in the Fifties.
They say the women were not given adequate warning that they would retire up to six years later, and have lost out on tens of thousands of pounds as a result. We were expecting a decision in July, but have now been told that we will not hear anything before September.
Would it be mischievous to speculate that m’luds would be a little speedier if their own pensions were on the line?
More brilliant tales of triumph. One reader from Penzance told how she has helped her 91-year-old neighbour save an incredible £1,319 on his car insurance.
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