Continuing healthcare: Fast track

What is fast track?

If you have a condition that is quickly getting worse, and you are nearing the end of your life, you may need ‘fast tracking’ for immediate help from continuing healthcare. This means you will not need to go through the decision support tool (DST) assessment process. Fast Tracking usually happens when someone is so poorly, they may not have enough time left to go through the full assessment process.

Not all people who are at the end of their life will be eligible for or need continuing healthcare.

For further information on end of life care please see the GOV.UK End of Life Care Choice Commitment.

Who decides if I am eligible for fast tracking?

In fast-track cases, an ‘appropriate clinician’ decides if you have a ‘primary health need’. An appropriate clinician is a registered nurse or a registered medical practitioner who is responsible for your diagnosis, treatment, or care. Other professionals who are not your appropriate clinicians should contact the appropriate clinician and ask them to consider completing the Fast Track Pathway Tool for you.

The appropriate clinician will complete the Fast Track Pathway Tool and send it to the Integrated Care Board’s Decision Forum. The Decision Forum should decide quickly if you are eligible for continuing healthcare so that the right funding is in place without delay. Urgent action should be taken to agree and arrange the care you need. This should usually happen within 48 hours from receipt of the completed Fast Track Pathway Tool.

If your care is fast tracked, the Continuing Healthcare Team will monitor your care package. It will decide if a reassessment or full assessment of your eligibility for continuing healthcare is needed. You will be notified of any changes in writing as soon as possible.

Read more about this on GOV.UK – NHS continuing healthcare fast track pathway tool.


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