Neil Garnham QC and Jeremy Hyam were successful in resisting this claim about the scope of a CCG’s s.3 duty under the NHS Act 2006, and the asserted obligation to provide an eligible patient with NHS Continuing Healthcare in hospital.

This important case clarifies the nature and scope of the s.3 duty under the NHS Act for CCGs to make arrangements for the provision of NHS services to meet all reasonable requirements in a CCG’s area. The Claimant argued that a CCG was obliged to assess for itself and provide funding to meet the Claimant’s “Continuing Healthcare Needs” in a hospital setting rather than simply relying on the hospital to do that which it was commissioned to do. The Claimant had been assessed as needing 1:1 24 hour care in the community, and it was argued, that same need required provision of additional carers by the CCG in hospital to ensure her safety and wellbeing, and that the CCG could not lawfully refuse it without carrying out their own assessment of the Claimant’s in-hospital “Continuing Healthcare Needs”.

The legal issues focussed on the scope of continuing healthcare funded healthcare, and whether there was an obligation on a CCG itself under s.3 of the NHS Act (in addition to, or in place of the hospital) to assess the Claimant for her “Continuing Healthcare Needs” when in a hospital setting. It was held that although subsequent assessment by the hospital resulted in 24hr supervision being provided by them, it did not follow that the CCG’s failure to make an assessment of what the Claimant’s needs would be when in hospital constituted a breach of its s.3 duty, rather it was lawful for the CCG to rely on the hospital doing what it was commissioned to do, namely provide appropriate care to meet the patient’s needs, if necessary by allocating additional staff.