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Continuing Care, Community Care and End-of-Life Care
  1. Malcolm Payne, Policy and Development Advisor
  1. St Christopher’s Hospice, London, and Visiting Professor, Opole University, Poland. Email: m.payne{at}


Continuing care and community care are parts of the health and social care system. They are sources of funding aimed at meeting care needs in people’s homes or in care homes. Continuing care, free as part of the NHS, helps with healthcare needs. Community care, a means-tested social care service, helps with non-healthcare needs. This distinction and the costs of care homes means that many patients and their families prefer continuing care, avoiding the need to sell a home to pay for a care home place. Most end-of-life care, at some point, involves the need for NHS continuing care and local authority community care. Effective advance care planning can prevent some of the associated problems. The complex criteria for providing these services means that a helpful approach for practitioners is to treat assessment as an opportunity to represent patients’ needs as fully as possible, since this helps patients to understand the professional judgments made by assessors. This article explains NHS continuing care and local authority community care and explores how the two systems are used in end-of-life care. Conflicts of interest: none

  • Advance care planning
  • Community care
  • Continuing care
  • Personal care
  • Social care

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