HUNDREDS of families are missing out on money to help with the cost of nursing care for their elderly or sick relatives, a Bolton solicitor has warned.

About 1,500 Bolton families could be entitled to NHS continuing healthcare funding, which covers the cost of residential nursing homes or nursing care at home.

The funding is allocated by the NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and is not means tested, but based on assessments of healthcare care needs — such as mobility and severity of conditions.

About 500 families in Bolton currently claim the full fund with another 127 claiming for help with nursing care at home. Another 26 families are being assessed for the funding.

Andrew Farley of specialist care funding solicitors Farley Dwek in Horwich, is urging families to take up the financial help.

He added: “Families who fall within the Bolton CCG area are spending millions of pounds on care home fees unnecessarily.

"They often struggle to secure the funding because they are given short notice by their local NHS to attend a complex funding assessment meeting, in many cases they are improperly assessed, or even worse not advised that funding is available at all.”

Television presenter Gloria Hunniford is also urging families to check their eligibility for the fund. Ms Hunniford, who visited the law firm, said: “Too many families feel as though there is a lack of help out there and are missing out on funding they are entitled to as a result.”

Dr Barry Silvert, clinical director for commissioning, at Bolton CCG, added: “Lots of people in Bolton have conditions, injuries and illnesses that means they need additional care either in their own home, or in a residential care home.

"NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group can pay for these services, for those who are eligible, with continuing healthcare funding.

"GPs, district nurses and other health professionals are aware of those who may need this type of support and make referrals as appropriate. Individuals and their families can also self refer.”

People can speak to their GP about the fund.