Convalescence and Recuperation

If you are a TBF beneficiary, you may feel you need a period of recovery following a serious illness, major operation, or significant trauma. TBF may be able to provide funding to assist you with a convalescent or recuperative break.

What is Convalescence?

Convalescence aims to help you make an earlier recovery than would otherwise be the case. Usually this means recovery from a serious illness or major operation, but it can also help after a traumatic event, such as the death of your partner or dependant child, a life-threatening diagnosis, a serious accident, an assault or witnessing a serious injury.

While we are naturally sympathetic if you are affected by long-term continuing illness, convalescence does not normally lead to a sustained improvement in health and therefore we cannot generally provide it in such cases. Please note that we are also unable to provide convalescence where a holiday would be more appropriate.

a) Convalescence following illness

  • We will generally provide this if you have been in hospital for a complex or major operation or because of a serious bout of ill health. It cannot be provided, however, if your hospitalisation was for investigation, a regular course of treatment, control of symptoms or where the period spent in hospital was very short or the surgery relatively minor or non-invasive.
  • You should normally apply for convalescence within four weeks of being discharged from hospital. However, flexibility would be applied for reasons such as having to undertake post-operative or related course of treatment for a period following surgery, in such cases you should make TBF aware, and apply as soon as treatment allows you to travel. Regretfully, we cannot consider applications which have been delayed without sound medical reason.
  • As stated above, convalescence is not normally granted in cases of long-term ongoing illness. However, if you have undergone a new major operation or painful treatment for your illness, or there has been a significant deterioration in your condition, in such cases we shall be able to consider an application.
  • We normally grant two weeks convalescence, because it is not usually possible to recover in less time. It is possible for you to choose to convalesce for a shorter period. However, we cannot, grant more than two weeks.

b) Convalescence for other reasons

  • You may apply for convalescence within one year of the death of your live-in partner or your young dependent child.
  • Circumstances may arise where you (and possibly your partner and dependent children) would benefit from convalescence outside the above criteria. You may have suffered an accident or assault, witnessed serious injury or experienced other traumatic events. We are happy to consider applications for these reasons, although a shorter spell of recuperation may be more appropriate.
  • If you have experienced a traumatic event, it may be more beneficial to seek funding for counselling (or related therapies) through TBF.

What is Recuperation?

Recuperation provides a break if you are not eligible for convalescence but are suffering from:

  • an extended period of stress; or
  • an acute condition requiring surgery (not necessarily in hospital); or
  • a long-term ongoing illness in which there has been a significant development of some kind; or
  • other circumstances which make it desirable that we grant a spell of recuperation.

Recuperation is granted for up to one week.

Other things to be aware of

  • You (or someone acting on your behalf) will need to complete an application form providing all requested information. Every adult application will require their GP or medical adviser to complete the medical statement fully (including stamp and signature). TBF regret that we cannot reimburse any charge made by the GP or medical advisor for this. Please note, child dependents (under 18) do not require the medical statement completed unless they are the main applicant.
  • TBF usually requires you to travel within two months of the funding agreement letter for the break to serve its purpose, however extensions for extenuating circumstances will be considered subject to evidence.
  • TBF will not usually consider a new application within one year of the first, however if you meet the above criteria, and genuinely require charity funding for another spell of convalescence, then a second application may be considered.
  • We are generally able to pay only for the patient to take convalescence. Sometimes, though, it is not possible for them to go away on their own. However, in circumstances where a patient is unable to meet their own basic needs without help or a partner or dependent child may be at risk if left alone at home, we can usually provide additional funding for eligible dependents. TBF aims to allow partners of working members to accompany them because of the impact of illness on working families.
  • We must reserve the right to decline, end or bar from future convalescence anyone who behaves improperly or harms our good name.
  • We regret that TBF can no longer offer stays at an approved Convalescence home. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, all previous homes used by TBF have now closed. Please see below funding contribution option instead.

How does it work?

Funding Contribution

Once an application has been submitted and funding officially approved, you may book a suitable break (UK or abroad). We need to ensure that the break would be appropriate, so detailed booking documents (meeting TBF requirements) accompanied by proof of full payment must be submitted before the agreed funding can be released.

Please note that the funding is not guaranteed, is based purely on your application, and is not confirmed until you receive an official funding agreement letter. TBF advise that you do not make or pay for any bookings before receiving confirmation if you are reliant on the funding to convalesce.

The funding is granted per person, per night up to the agreed duration (one, or two weeks maximum).

How do I apply?

Question MarkRequest a Turquoise Form: Request for convalescence and/or Lilac Form: Request for someone to accompany a convalescent

We will ask the person requiring convalescence or recuperation to complete a Turquoise Form. If they wish to be accompanied, a Lilac Form will need to be completed by the person accompanying the convalescent.

Please ensure your doctor completes your Turquoise form with your medical details. Also please ensure that any Lilac form for an accompanying adult is completed by the accompanying adult and by the accompanying adult’s own GP. We do not need medical statements for those under 18, unless they are applying for convalescence, though we do need the front of the Lilac Form to be completed.

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