REDDITCH and Bromsgrove CCG will not face court action after agreeing to review a healthcare policy which was claimed to be unlawfully forcing patients into care homes.

Under the NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) policy, the CCG is meant to provide funding for care outside of hospital - either in a care home, nursing home, hospice or a person’s own home - to meet physical, mental health and associated social care needs.

But the local clinical commissioning group was one of 13 across the country accused of moving people into care homes if the cost of their care at home is too much.

Such a policy was in breach of the human rights of patients, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said, who threatened legal action in March if changes were not made.

Now after almost eight months of disagreements between the two, Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG has agreed to review its NHS Continuing Healthcare policy.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive at EHRC, said: “Everyone has the right to live their lives to an adequate standard and to have access to good quality health care.

“Those who need help are individual human beings with individual circumstances which need to be taken into account.

“We said that it is unacceptable and de-humanising for CCGs to adopt a blanket approach in forcing people into residential care, especially when with the right support they would be able to live at home with the families who love them.

“We are really pleased with the result and we know that all those affected will be reassured to see CCGs putting the rights of patients at the heart of their decision-making processes.

“We will continue to work with CCGs to ensure that future policies do not make the same mistakes.”

A spokesman for NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG added: “The CCG has, alongside the other CCGs, responded to the concerns raised by the Equality and Human Rights Commissioner.

“Although we believe the policies in question are lawful and not discriminatory, we’re now taking this opportunity to work with the other CCGs to review Continuing Healthcare policies.”