Medical opinions have been ignored within the evaluation of NHS funds to sufferers receiving care, it’s claimed.
Three well being staff mentioned an assessor organisation discounted medical views so some sufferers had been denied NHS care.
Norman Lamb MP mentioned England-wide knowledge obtained by the BBC confirmed a “regional disparity” and was “an injustice”.
Nevertheless the assessor organisation, Arden and Better East Midlands CSU, says it follows nationwide tips to determine on funds.
Below nationwide standards, the NHS pays for long-term assist and care if a affected person’s situation is extreme sufficient.
Nevertheless, BBC Inside Out East has discovered a large distinction amongst medical commissioning teams (CCGs) in England within the proportion of sufferers rejected following evaluation for persevering with well being care (CHC).
Between July 2016 and July 2017, Birmingham South and Central CCG rejected 75% of its new CHC assessments, Manchester CCG turned down solely 17% of assessments, whereas Tameside and Glossop CCG solely rejected 5% of these assessed.
All assessors – of which there about half a dozen masking England – ought to use the identical standards.
Three well being staff instructed the BBC that one of many most important assessor organisations, Arden and Better East Midlands CSU (Commissioning Assist Unit), generally ignored medical opinions in assessments so sufferers couldn’t get hold of NHS care.
One employee instructed the BBC: “There was bullying on the conferences – makes an attempt to ridicule people who find themselves there who’ve knowledgeable opinion.
“They ignored what professionals have mentioned and adjusted what professionals have mentioned. The priority is that this places sufferers in danger.”
North Norfolk MP Mr Lamb, whose Liberal Democrat constituency contains North Norfolk CCG the place 73% of instances assessed had been turned down, mentioned the disparity and the allegations of medical opinions being ignored had been “very disturbing”.
“The regional disparity quantities to an injustice between people with the identical circumstances which may’t start to be justified,” mentioned the previous well being minister.
However Alfonzo Tramontano, chief nurse at Arden and Better East Midlands CSU, mentioned: “There are strict nationwide tips for what constitutes persevering with healthcare.
“Importantly, there isn’t any purpose why we’d ever wish to do something apart from assess a person’s wants appropriately.
“We stock out every evaluation utilizing the nationwide tips and make suggestions to an professional CCG panel, and we’ve by no means put strain on our nurse assessors to do something apart from assess every particular person’s well being care wants appropriately.”
An NHS England spokesman mentioned taxpayers “rightly anticipate” care to be taken earlier than public cash is handed out.
“It is a reality that almost all of individuals put via a unbroken healthcare evaluation end up to not want it,” he mentioned.
“Whereas funding selections on CHC instances are taken by native well being our bodies, there may be now a much more constant method than ever earlier than for the reason that launch of the nationwide eligibility framework.”
Amongst these receiving NHS care was nursing house resident Diane Gallagher, 77, who had Alzheimer’s illness.
Her husband, John Gallagher, 78, who lives in Northampton, mentioned funding was withdrawn thrice, however each time he argued with the authorities and acquired it again.
Speaking about the latest time NHS fee was rejected, Mr Gallagher mentioned he was “completely gobsmacked”, including by that time his spouse could not stroll, stand, discuss or feed herself.
In August Mrs Gallagher died, however her husband nonetheless faces having to pay the invoice for her ultimate weeks of care. He insists the NHS ought to pay.
BBC Inside Out East is broadcast at 19:30 BST on Monday.