Why you should read this article: • To gain insight into the complexity of NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) assessments • To reflect on what skills and knowledge are required for the optimal assessment of an older person’s eligibility for CHC • To understand the training and development needs of nurses involved in CHC-associated work Background Nurses in England play a prominent role in NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) assessments, but there are no overview data on their knowledge and educational needs. Aim An online survey was conducted to identify the educational status and development needs of nurses involved in CHC assessments. Method The survey was informed by a literature review and focus group discussions, and distributed via email to the members of the Royal College of Nursing older people’s forum. Descriptive data analysis was undertaken. Results Overall, respondents were confident about their ability to undertake CHC-associated work and manage each aspect of the CHC process. However, respondents were less confident about how to determine whether a primary health need exists based on the four main criteria – nature, complexity, intensity and unpredictability – of a person’s health and social care needs. This was one of the respondents’ priorities for training and development. Conclusion The survey demonstrates the importance of face-to-face and multidisciplinary CHC training delivered locally. It also confirms the need for a standardised approach and more consistency in the CHC assessment process. A CHC competency framework would contribute to standardise the process and benefit all involved.
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