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To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to ensure that a rapidly deteriorating condition that may be entering a terminal phase under paragraph 16 of the Fast Track Pathway Tool for NHS Continuing Healthcare is interpreted to exclude all patients other than those confined to bed and within a few days of death; and if he will make a statement.
The National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and National Health Service-funded Nursing Care sets out the policy for the use of the Fast Track Pathway Tool.
The Fast Track Pathway Tool must only be used when the individual has a rapidly deteriorating condition and may be entering a terminal phase.
The completed Fast Track Pathway Tool should be supported by a prognosis, where available. However, strict time limits that base eligibility on a specified expected length of life remaining should not be imposed:
- ‘rapidly deteriorating' should not be interpreted narrowly as only meaning an anticipated specific or short time frame of life remaining; and
- ‘may be entering a terminal phase’ is not intended to be restrictive to only those situations where death is imminent.