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NHS Continuing Care

Health and Social Care

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

NHS Continuing Care


NHS Continuing Health Care is a package of health care provided and solely funded by the NHS. Information presented on the ISD website covers all patients whom clinicians have assessed to meet the criteria contained in the guidance in CEL 6 (2008) Download PDF file [579Kb](Category A), and certain other patients who did not meet the criteria but have been in hospital for over 1 year and for whom no estimated date of discharge has been set (Category B). This information is based on data collected at individual census points.


Figures and reports from 2010 to 2015 can be found under Publications.

Reports prior to 2010 can be found via the links below:

New Guidance

DL (2015) 11 - Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care guidance Download PDF file [500Kb] was issued on 28th May 2015 and replaces guidance on NHS Continuing Healthcare contained in CEL 6 (2008). The new guidance is effective from 1st June 2015 and is based on the recommendations from the independent review. It covers the responsibilities of the NHS in Scotland for providing Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care to the population.

Related Health and Social Care Information

ISD publishes other information that helps to measure the shift in the balance of care to ensure that older people are cared for in their own homes or in a homely setting in the community, wherever possible. The Scottish Care Home Census publication looks at the provision of care home places throughout Scotland and for individual local authorities. Trend data is available from March 2000. A link to the latest report can be found here:

For most patients, following completion of health and social care assessments, the necessary care, support and accommodation arrangements are put in place in the community without any delay in the patient's safe and appropriate discharge from hospital. A ‘delayed discharge’ is a hospital inpatient who has been judged clinically ready for discharge by the responsible clinician, in consultation with all agencies involved in planning the patient’s discharge, who continues to occupy a bed beyond the ready for discharge date. These patients are clinically ready to move on to a more appropriate care setting either within or out with the NHS e.g. patient’s home, care home etc. A small number of patients who appear on the Balance of Care / Continuing Care census may also be delayed discharges. Further information can be found at the following link:

The Scottish Government publishes other information relating to service provision for older people and this can be found at the following website:

© ISD Scotland 2010
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