Claire Gee | UK
I first instructed Compass CHC subsequent to the full continuing healthcare assessment of my mother on 25 April 2017. I only wish I had known what I know now and had instructed Compass for the initial assessment also.
Although I had some misgivings about Compass at the initial investigation stage as there was confusion about what medical records had been obtained and, thus, delays in chasing up the records, I cannot fault the team’s professionalism and knowledge in, thereafter, a) assimilating the vast amount of information contained in the medical records from the two hospitals and the care home; b) getting to grips with the pertinent points and areas in contention; c) producing a detailed 43 page letter of appeal representations and, finally, d) attending at the appeal hearing to argue why my mother should receive full funding for her care.
Compass CHC resolved there were four domains in contention and this was what the appeal hearing should focus on. The Advocate attending the appeal hearing, Andrew Carman, met me an hour before the appeal hearing and we discussed the four domains over a nice cappuccino. Andrew put me at my ease straight away and I immediately felt comfortable in his presence as he had an air of confidence and calmness about him. Andrew talked to me about the process and the fact the panel may ask me some questions about my mother. He showed me on his laptop what arguments he was going to put forward as to why my mother should have been awarded funding. He also explained what the potential outcomes could be and what the next steps could be going forward. He answered all my questions and reassured me that as far as he was concerned we had a good case to appeal and even if the decision did not go our way at this appeal stage, he felt there was sufficient evidence to support us going on to the next stage, which would be the Independent Review Panel.
At the meeting the panel wanted me to tell them a bit about what mother was like as a person, which I thought was a nice thing to do as it made the panel think about her as a real person and not just as a paper exercise. Andrew Carman, because of his knowledge of how the system works and what the appeal panel needed by way of succinct arguments in relation to the domains in dispute, was able to change two of the disputed domain scores to the higher levels. The panel was stuck on a third domain and could not decide whether to score it from High to Severe but, by that stage, because Andrew had convinced them there was a “health need” and that my mother did meet at least one if not two of the Intensity, Complexity and Unpredictability criteria, the panel found in our favour and awarded continuing health care funding.
I am most grateful to the team at Compass and, in particular, to Andrew, and I would not hesitate in recommending them to anyone who is in the same position of trying to secure NHS funding for their loved ones who are in a care situation. I know I would not personally have been able to undertake the process by myself as I do not have the knowledge, experience or expertise that Andrew and Compass have in dealing with this type of situation. Andrew and the team at Compass are dealing with appeal hearings and assessment meetings all the time and have a great deal of knowledge about how the system works and what the NHS Continuing Healthcare funding people are looking for.
I know this is not the end of the process as the NHS will be assessing mother again in 3 months time. I know for sure that I will be on the phone to Andrew at that time, asking him to represent mother and me at that assessment meeting in order to, hopefully, secure funding going forward.