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Direct Payments Made Available To NHS Patients For The First Time

As of April 2014, NHS bodies have discretion to provide direct payments for NHS care to adults and children across England and Wales. Patients will be given the opportunity to receive cash payments to purchase their care directly from a provider.

In some cases, another individual must be nominated to receive these payments on the patient’s behalf, for example, where the patient is a child or an adult who lacks capacity to manage their finances.

Who Will Benefit From These Payments?

These payments will be available for most individuals who have a package of community or residential care funded in whole or in part by the NHS. By way of example, direct payments can be used to fund a nursing home placement, nursing care within a person’s home or NHS funded respite care or short breaks.

If eligible, the option of receiving payments must be given to a patient – however, it will ultimately be the patient’s or, where relevant, their representative’s decision as to whether they decide to receive their care package by way of direct payments.

There are some circumstances in which direct payments cannot be made; for example, if the patient is an excluded person under the regulations (e.g. subject to a drug rehabilitation requirement under section 209 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003), or if the services sought are excluded. These include planned surgical procedures, GP services, dental and optical treatment.

The intention behind the decision to introduce direct payments for NHS care is to provide patients with more flexibility in how their services are provided, so that patients will have greater choice and control over the NHS care that they receive. The payments will work in much the same way as direct payments for social care, which have been available for some time.

Precedent Letters

If you need to apply for funding, you can download one of the following precedent letters below in Word format:

If you would like any further advice in relation to NHS direct payments, or if you are eligible for care and support from the NHS but you are concerned that NHS direct payments are not being offered to you, please contact Ashley Day on 0800 028 1943 or complete our enquiry form and we'll get back to you.

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