WQ89422 (e) Tabled on 23/10/2023

Will the Minister provide an update on introducing direct payments for those in receipt of NHS continuing healthcare, following the recent consultation?

Answered by Deputy Minister for Social Services | Answered on 30/10/2023

A revised ‘Continuing NHS Healthcare - the National Framework for implementation in Wales’ was published in July 2021 and has been operational as of April 2022. It contains an increased emphasis on enhancing voice and control for individuals in receipt of a package of care provided through CHC. Direct payments are not currently possible in Wales under the NHS (Wales) 2006 Act.

On 27 June 2023, the First Minister made his Legislative Statement which included the intention to legislate to introduce direct payments for Continuing Health Care, in support of the Programme for Government commitment.

The Welsh Government is continuing to explore the legal and operational changes needed to introduce direct payments in Wales for CHC recipients. As part of this work, officials are looking at good practice from elsewhere and are exploring the impacts and costs of any new direct payments model on partners and stakeholder groups across Wales.

While legislative change is considered, an option to promote voice and control for those in receipt of CHC via the establishment of an Independent User Trust (IUT) is listed in the revised 2021 CHC National Framework as an interim measure that local health boards can facilitate.

A working group which includes disabled people and representatives from local health boards, local authorities and Disabled People’s organisations is taking this work forward.