Joint Packages of Health and Social Care
1. Section 117
This procedure is specific to joint packages of health and social care agreed as part of the NHS Continuing Healthcare determination.
Joint packages of health and social care arrangements for people receiving after-care under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act are not included in this procedure. These can be located in the relevant section of the Local Resources.
2. An Introduction to Joint Packages of Health and Social Care
Defining a joint package of health and social care
A joint package of health and social care is an arrangement between the Local Authority and the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to:
- Work together to arrange, manage and review a person's support and services; and
- Share the cost of those services; when
- A person has complex health needs; but
- Does not meet the threshold for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding.
The recommendations of the National Framework
The National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care recommends that the CCG should consider joint package of care arrangements whenever:
- A person is not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare; but
- They have health needs that would benefit from a joint approach to service delivery that cannot be met through NHS-funded Nursing Care (either because the person is not eligible or because the cost of the support they require to meet health needs exceeds the level of NHS-funded Nursing Care funding).
Eligibility for a joint package of care
In adult social care a person is eligible for a joint package of care when:
- They are over 18; and
- Their eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare has been considered; and
- They are not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare; and
- They are not eligible for NHS-funded Nursing Care (or the cost of the support they require to meet health needs exceeds the level of NHS-funded Nursing Care); and
- The local CCG has recommended a joint package of care; and
- The Local Authority agrees to the joint package of care proposed; and
- There are local joint package of care arrangements in place.
3. Local Joint Package of Care Arrangements
Although the National Framework sets out the circumstances when joint package of care arrangements should be considered it does not set out how joint package of care decisions and arrangements should be made locally.
It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with any local joint package of care arrangements between the Local Authority and the CCG, which should set out:
- The circumstances when joint packages of care can and cannot be considered;
- The process for deciding joint funding levels;
- How joint packages of care are commissioned and reviewed; and
- How joint package of care eligibility will be reviewed.
4. Establishing Eligibility for other Health Funding
Click here to access the NHS Continuing Healthcare Procedure, which you should follow to ensure that a full assessment of eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare takes place.
Click here to access the NHS-funded Nursing Care Procedure, which you should use if the person is not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare but may be eligible for NHS-funded Nursing Care because they either live in (or will be moving to) a nursing home.
5. Meeting Needs during Decision Making
Discharging to Assess
Where the person is a patient in an acute hospital the Framework expects the CCG to determine eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare post discharge in most cases. In this situation the CCG remains legally responsible for providing all care and treatment to the person in the interim period. Examples of how this could be arranged include intermediate care, the provision of domiciliary care or a short term placement.
If the person was in receipt of a solely Local Authority funded service prior to admission the Framework allows for the CCG to request the Local Authority reinstate and continue funding that service whilst the eligibility assessment takes place.
The Local Authority does not have a duty to do this and before responding to such a request you must be clear about local arrangements that have been agreed between the Local Authority and the CCG.
Furthermore the CCG can only make such a request if:
- The same service is still open and available;
- The service does not need to be altered to meet the person's post-discharge needs.
Where the Local Authority agrees to reinstate services and the CCG subsequently decides that the person is eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare or any other health funding provision (NHS-funded Nursing Care or a joint package of health and social care) the Local Authority must be reimbursed for relevant costs from the date of discharge.
Assessment in other settings
If a person is living in the community or a care home it remains the legal responsibility of the Local Authority to meet the person's eligible needs until:
- A decision about eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare is made; and
- Where not eligible, a decision is made about eligibility for other health funding provision.
Delays in assessment
With the exception of referrals made in acute hospital settings arrangements in place at the point of referral to the CCG should remain in place until a determination is made.
The CCG is expected to make a final decision about eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare within 28 days of receiving the referral (or sooner if it is more urgent) unless their reasons for not doing so are both:
- Valid; and
The Local Authority and the CCG should agree arrangements for appropriate reimbursement if a decision is subsequently made that the person is eligible/ineligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare or any other health funding provision.
During a reassessment
If a person is already receiving a joint package of health and social care no changes should be made to services or funding arrangements until the reassessment process is complete and a decision made.
6. After a Decision is Made
Notification of the decision
The practitioner that coordinated the NHS Continuing Healthcare process should notify you of the decision made by the CCG as soon as possible after it has been made. You should:
- Record the decision on the person's electronic file; and
- Answer any questions that the person may ask of you regarding the outcome or implications.
If the decision is to arrange a joint package of care they should also inform you of the health practitioner who will be involved in agreeing and arranging the joint services.
Notifying the person
The practitioner that coordinated the NHS Continuing Healthcare process is responsible for formally notifying the person of the outcome of the process (including any determination about eligibility for a joint package of care or NHS-funded Nursing Care). When notifying in person they should also follow up in writing, confirming:
- The implications of the outcome; and
- If a joint package of care is to be arranged, the next steps; and
- If a joint package of care has not been agreed, how they can make a complaint about the decision.
Agreeing the funding level
Joint package of care funding levels should be set as per the local arrangements agreed between the Local Authority and the CCG.
If a joint package of care is not agreed
If a joint package of care is not agreed the Local Authority remains legally responsible for meeting eligible needs under the Care Act, which can include support provided by a health professional when:
- It is merely incidental or ancillary (secondary) to doing something else to meet Care and Support needs; or
- It is of a nature that the Local Authority could be expected to provide.
Complaints and challenges
Challenges to the decision
If you disagree with any outcome that refuses a joint package of care you should discuss any action that may (or may not) be needed to challenge the decision with your line manager.
Complaints about the decision
If the person (or their representative) is unhappy with the decision of the CCG they should complain about it directly to the CCG.
The Local Authority is not able to manage any complaints relating to decisions made by the CCG.
If the CCG subsequently reverses its decision they should make arrangements to reimburse the Local Authority for the services that is has provided during that time.
7. Joint Packages of Care and Joint Work
You are required to work jointly with a lead health professional appointed by the CCG (normally a Community Nurse) whenever joint packages of care are:
- Being monitored; or
- Being reviewed.
It is important that you contact the lead health professional as soon as possible after a joint package of care is agreed to:
- Confirm your involvement;
- Share information about any specific Local Authority tasks and functions that you intend to carry out;
- Gather information about any specific CCG tasks and functions that they intend to carry out; and
- Discuss the most effective way to work together to carry out intended functions and arrange, monitor or review the joint package of care.
Some of the things you should establish include:
- The work they are doing/will be doing/have done and whether they have information that you need to know or can use to avoid duplication;
- Whether there are opportunities to co-ordinate systems and processes and, if so how this will be managed;
- What the expectations and scope is in terms of joint working (for example carrying out joint visits to the person, producing joint records and carrying our shared functions);
- What the person with Care and Support needs knows about the joint work to be carried out (and if they don't know who and how should this be explained);
- Who will be the primary contact for the person (or their representative) to go to with any queries;
- Who will be responsible for communicating progress and decisions to the person.
8. Planning and Arranging Joint Packages of Care
In the absence of any confirmed funding level agreement the indicative Personal Budget of the Local Authority should be used to support initial planning of joint services, so long as it has been determined based on the person's current needs.
Deciding the best way to meet needs
You should work with the lead health professional to apply the principles of effective Care and Support planning when deciding the best way to meet the person's eligible needs. These include, but are not limited to:
- Involving the person and any carer;
- Having an outcomes focussed approach;
- Having a strengths based approach; and
- Having a positive approach to risk.
The procedure and guidance for the process of Care and Support Planning can be accessed in the 'Meeting Needs' section of your team/service area.
If the person is self funding
The concept of self-funding does not exist when a person is receiving a joint package of care. This is because even if the person is likely to contribute the full amount of the Local Authority funded elements of their services, they cannot be classified as 'self-funding', because the NHS is meeting the cost of their remaining services
If the person lacks capacity
If there are concerns that a person may lack capacity to make decisions about, or consent to care and treatment, a proportionate mental capacity assessment needs to be carried out.
You can carry this out, or it can be carried out by the lead health professional. However, it is important that you both agree the outcome of the assessment before proceeding to consider the need for any decisions to be made in the person's Best Interests.
If a Best Interests decision is required, you will need to agree with the lead health professional who will act as the Decision Maker. Depending on the circumstances this could be you, the health professional or a shared role can be assumed.
Note: Remember, before assuming the role of Decision Maker you must establish whether:
- There is a Deputy with the power to make the decision; or
- There is a Lasting Power of Attorney able to do so; and
- If so, they must act as Decision Maker.
If a Best Interests decision is to be made regarding residency you must specifically consider whether an IMCA (Independent Mental Capacity Advocate) needs to be appointed.
If there is disagreement about what care arrangements are in the person's Best Interests an application to the Court of Protection should be considered.
If proposed care arrangements will deprive a person of their liberty you (or the lead health professional) must take the necessary steps to seek authorisation, either:
- Applying to the Court of Protection; or
- Asking the care home manager to request a standard authorisation under DoLS.
Further information about assessing mental capacity, Best Interests decision making and applying to Court should be accessed as required. It is available in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 area of this site by clicking here.
Services out of the area
Out of area services can be arranged when:
- There are no appropriate services locally; or
- The person has made a request that has been agreed under the Wellbeing principle; or
- The person lacks capacity and an out of area placement has been agreed as in their best interests.
If the above circumstances apply and the person is placed into regulated provision as defined in the Care Act there is:
- No impact on their ordinary residence status; and
- No impact on their eligibility for health funding with the placing CCG.
Regulated provision in the Care Act is:
- Permanent residential or nursing care;
- A supported living scheme; or
- A shared lives placement.
The Care and Support Plan
The Local Authority has a statutory duty to complete a Care and Support Plan whenever it provides any services under the Care Act, even if:
- The plan also includes services being met by others, such as the CCG; and
- Another organisation is also completing a similar plan (for example a health plan).
The Care and Support Plan should record all of the services proposed, for example:
- Adult care and support services; and
- Any dedicated health services; and
- Informal support and services (for example carers and community support).
The total cost of the plan should be recorded, with a clear breakdown of the following:
- How much of the cost is payable by the Local Authority; and
- How much of the cost is payable by the CCG.
A care home placement costing £550 per week is to be joint funded by the CCG at 40%. The total cost of the Care and Support Plan is therefore £550. A breakdown of this total cost clearly records that:
- The amount payable by the Local Authority is £330; and
- The amount payable by the CCG is £220.
Authorising proposed services
The Care and Support Plan should be submitted for sign-off as per local processes and arrangements.
When agreeing a jointly funded Care and Support Plan authorisers must have regard for:
- The local joint package of care arrangements;
- The professional views of both lead professionals;
- How the reasonable preferences of the person have been considered;
- The plan's appropriateness and proportionality; and
- The plan's use of available resources (health and social care).
Both lead professionals should be notified of the outcome as soon as possible after a decision has been made.
If the plan is agreed
If the plan is agreed you should:
- Agree with the lead health professional how best to notify the person (and then notify the person);
- Finalise the plan;
- Provide a copy of the plan to the person;
- Provide a copy of the plan to the lead health professional (unless recording systems are shared); and
- Proceed to arrange the services in the plan.
If the plan is not agreed
If the plan is not agreed you should:
- Understand the reasons why the plan has not been agreed;
- Agree with the lead health professional next steps required;
- Agree with the lead health professional how best to notify the person (and then notify the person, explaining next steps and revised timeframes);
- Carry out any further steps required; and
- Resubmit the plan.
Dedicated health services
The lead health professional is responsible for arranging any dedicated health services in the plan (for example Psychology services, District nursing or Speech and Language Therapy services).
All other services
All other services should be arranged as set out in the local joint package of care arrangements. The Framework permits a Local Authority to arrange non-health services and agree reimbursement processes with the CCG.
9. Financial Assessment and Joint Packages of Care
At the point that the amount of health funding is agreed you must either:
- Request a financial assessment; or
- Notify the team responsible for financial assessment of the change in funding arrangements.
The team responsible for financial assessment must disregard the part of the budget being funded by the NHS, as it is not lawful to charge a financial contribution for services provided by the NHS.
10. Direct Payments and Joint Packages of Care
As long as the person meets the normal criteria for a Direct Payment under the Care Act 2014 the Local Authority can provide their element of funding as a Direct Payment.
For more information about eligibility for a Direct Payment click here.
Health Direct Payments
As long as the person is eligible for a Health Direct Payment under the National Health Service Act 2006 the CCG can provide their element of funding as a Health Direct Payment.
If a person is eligible for both a Direct Payment under the Care Act and a Direct Payment under the National Health Service Act 2006 it is lawful for payments to be combined into a single payment, so long as there are appropriate arrangements in place locally to manage this.
11. Monitoring and Review of Joint Packages of Care
Appropriate and proportionate monitoring arrangements should be agreed with the person, any carer and the lead health professional whenever:
- The person's needs are likely to change;
- The person's situation is likely to become unstable;
- The person's circumstances are anticipated to change;
- The level of risk to the person is not well managed.
Arrangements should include:
- Who will monitor what;
- How information will be recorded and shared; and
- How monitoring arrangements will be reviewed.
The timing of a review
The Local Authority is required to review the person's Care and Support Plan in line with the Care Act 2014 (6 weeks after the plan begins then no less than annually after this).
The CCG normally hold an initial review of the plan within 3 months and then every 12 months after that.
Wherever possible a health plan review and a Care and Support Plan review should be scheduled for the same time to avoid duplication for the person, and make the most effective use of available organisational resources in the CCG and the Local Authority.
The process of review
Regardless of whether review dates correspond the process of reviewing a joint package of health and social care should, wherever possible be a joint one.
This means that if a Care and Support Plan review is to be arranged you should contact the lead health professional to advise them of this, and to seek their co-operation and involvement in the review.
The nature of their involvement should reflect:
- The current needs and circumstances of the person; and
- The likely outcome of the review.
The lead health professional is required to co-operate with any request to be involved in a review, unless doing so would prevent them from carrying out their own duties under the Care Act or any other legislation.
If you are contacted by the lead health professional regarding any health plan review they are carrying out, you are required to co-operate with this request in the same way.
During any review it is your responsibility to ensure that the process meets all of the statutory requirements of a Care and Support Plan review, even if the review is being led by the lead health professional.
Click here to access the general procedure 'Legal Requirements of a Care and Support Plan Review'.
If any review indicates a need for a reassessment of need this should be carried out as a joint process, with as little duplication as possible for the person.
If the reassessment process indicates that the person's health needs have changed the lead health professional should notify the CCG and the level of health funding should also be reviewed.
Reviewing joint funding
The level of joint funding should be reviewed if a review or reassessment provides evidence that:
- The person's health needs have decreased; or
- The person's health needs have increased; or
- The person may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare.
During this time the CCG must continue to provide joint funding at its current level until a decision is made.
The Local Authority maintains responsibility for meeting the needs of any carers. This includes:
- Identifying carers;
- Providing information and advice to carers (about adult care and support); and
- Carrying out any statutory functions with carers (for example assessment).
If carers require specific information and advice relating their health, or the health of the person they care for it is the responsibility of the lead health professional to:
- Provide this directly to the carer; or
- Give the information to you so that you can provide it.