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Missing care records = massive impact

A recent BBC investigation found thousands of medical and care records were left unsecured in an abandoned care home in Hampshire raising serious concerns about data protection breaches. But this is just one aspect of the many issues that missing (or abandoned) care notes pose - in my experience as both a continuing health care (CHC) assessor, and more recently in my role as a Nurse representing families through the CHC process – absent notes can mean the difference between someone being found eligible or not for this vital funding.

Written evidence demonstrating the extent and level of an individual’s care needs are vital in the CHC assessment process, particularly for appeals or retrospective claims where a significant period of time has often passed since the original assessment. I see a number of CHC appeals or retrospective claims which are closed due to lack of evidence where records have been destroyed, lost or damaged.  As the appeal / retrospective process is so slow families are left in despair when notified that their case is closed – a decision which the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) may reach months or years after the family started the claim on behalf of their loved one.

In circumstances where I act for families who have already received the notice that their case is being closed, I have been able to challenge the CCG and revisit the decision through Local Resolution procedures. This involves me forensically analysing the information that is available about the individual to complete a clinical ‘join-the-dots’ which whilst time consuming can ultimately prove successful in tackling the issue of missing information.

A far better approach in the face of such delays, is to obtain copies of all care records at the beginning of the process; I do this on behalf of my clients not just to inform our submissions for the appeal or retrospective claim but also so that I can retain them for safekeeping.

If notes that go AWOL affect you, contact me today for a free initial telephone consultation and lets track the information together..

Judy Timson


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