Tips for Attending Local Resolution Meetings & Independent Review Panels
Has a Clinical Commissioning Group decided that you or a loved one are ineligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare?
If so, you might want to question the decision, in which case you may be invited to take part in a Local Resolution Meeting or attend an Independent Review Panel. This may involve meeting the assessors face-to-face or talking to them over the phone.
You might ask whether you have to attend such meetings and whether there are any consequences of not doing so. Furthermore, you may feel that even if you do go to a meeting, your contribution won’t be valued, or that you’re providing the same information again and again.
The National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care specifies that the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) should aim to resolve concerns through an informal and meaningful two-way discussion. The CCG may also arrange a more formal meeting, which is likely to serve a similar purpose.
Our Care Home Solicitors always recommend that claimants attend these meetings and have lots of experience in assisting with appeals to CCGs. So here are our top ten tips which may help you when attending Local Resolution Meetings and Independent Review Panels.
Top 10 Tips for Local Resolution Meetings & Independent Review Panels
It’s best to be as familiar as possible with the Decision Support Tool and care domain levels - and to be clear as to what you disagree with. This will save time in your meeting, ensuring you can spend more time discussing the points which are in dispute.
2. Remember to Take Your Papers
The Decision Support Tool, Needs Portrayal Document (if applicable) and a copy of your appeal are required as a minimum.
3. Focus on the Period of Care Subject to Review
Some context and social background is helpful, but it’s best to focus on healthcare needs at the time of the assessment or during the period under review.
4. Submit Any Evidence Promptly
If new evidence comes to light, you must make the CCG or Independent Review Panel aware as soon as possible and well in advance of any meeting taking place. Otherwise, this can be difficult to address, particularly at an Independent Review Panel, as it often can’t accept evidence not already seen by the CCG.
5. Avoid Information Overload
It’s best to present your appeal in a clear and concise way. It’s more likely to be read and understood by those addressing your appeal and may therefore be more persuasive.
6. Consider Whether You Need Support
You should be permitted to bring along a friend, family member, or professional representative such as a Solicitor. It’s a good idea to have a Solicitor with you particularly if there are procedural issues to discuss or specific arguments regarding care needs to be advanced.
7. Ask about the Timescale for a Decision to be Made
Delays in decision-making are common, but getting confirmation of the timescale gives you an indication as to when you need to chase the CCG.
8. Keep an Open Mind
Although it can be a challenge, it’s better to attend a meeting with an open mind rather than to dismiss it as a lost cause. Even if the meeting didn’t go as you had planned, your willingness to resolve the problem will be noted.
9. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s their job to ensure you are fully appraised as to the facts and understand what’s happening.
10. Don’t Panic
The Continuing Healthcare appeal process can be overwhelming and emotional. But do try to stay calm throughout.
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