A QUARTER of Morecambe Bay adults with ongoing health needs were denied free NHS care over the summer, figures show.

Adults requiring care and support outside hospital settings can apply for a free package of care known as NHS Continuing Healthcare.

The fully-funded support covers a person's care and residential accommodation, but is only available to those who are determined as having particularly complex or unpredictable needs following an assessment by health professionals.

Age UK said the CHC system is "grossly unfair" on older people and their families, with patients denied the free support facing enormous care bills which it says should be paid by the Government.

NHS England figures show that 423 fast-track or standard assessments were completed in the NHS Morecambe Bay CCG area between July and September, with 75 per cent (319) deemed eligible.

When a person's health is rapidly deteriorating – and when they are considered to be approaching the end of their life – they may be allowed fast-tracked CHC care.

All 273 fast-track applications were granted in Morecambe Bay over the three-month period, but just 31 per cent (46) of the 150 standard applications were.