NHS Funded Nursing Care: A Guide

Facing the decision of moving a loved one into a care home can be overwhelming. One significant aspect that often adds to the stress is understanding the financial implications, particularly NHS Nursing Care Funding. 

This guide aims to explain the process, eligibility criteria, and provide practical advice on how to secure the necessary funding for your loved one’s care.

Understanding NHS Nursing Care Funding

NHS Nursing Care Funding, also known as NHS Funded Nursing Care (FNC), is a financial support mechanism provided by the NHS to cover the cost of nursing care in a care home.  It is sometimes called a registered care contribution.

This funding is available for individuals who require nursing care from a registered nurse but do not qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC), which covers the entire cost of care.

Who is Eligible for NHS Funded Nursing Care?

To determine eligibility for NHS Funded Nursing Care, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Residence in a Care Home with Nursing: The individual must reside in a care home registered to provide nursing care.
  2. Assessed Need for Nursing Care: A registered nurse must have assessed the individual as needing nursing care. The NHS Continuing Healthcare team usually performs this assessment.

It is essential to note that NHS Funded Nursing Care is not means-tested, meaning it is not dependent on the individual’s financial situation but rather on their healthcare needs.

The Process of Securing NHS Funded Nursing Care

1. Assessment of Care Needs

The first step in securing NHS Funded Nursing Care is an assessment of the individual’s care needs. This assessment is conducted by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) from the NHS Continuing Healthcare team and involves:

  • Reviewing Medical History: The team will evaluate the individual’s medical history and current health status.
  • Assessing Daily Living Activities: This involves looking at the individual’s ability to perform daily activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, and mobility.
  • Nursing Care Requirements: The team will determine the specific nursing care needs, including the frequency and type of nursing interventions required.

2. Decision on Eligibility

Based on the assessment, the NHS Continuing Healthcare team will decide whether the individual qualifies for NHS Funded Nursing Care. If eligible, the funding will cover the nursing care component provided by a registered nurse in a care home.

3. Ongoing Assessments

Eligibility for NHS Funded Nursing Care is subject to regular reviews. The individual’s care needs will be reassessed periodically to ensure the continued necessity for nursing care and appropriateness of the funding.

How Much Funding is Provided?

The amount provided under NHS Funded Nursing Care is set at a national rate, which is reviewed annually. As of April 2024, the rate is £235.88 per week. This funding is paid directly to the care home and is intended to cover the cost of nursing care provided by a registered nurse.

Steps to Take if Your Loved One is Denied Funding

If your loved one is assessed and deemed ineligible for NHS Funded Nursing Care, you have the right to appeal the decision. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Request a Review: Contact the NHS Continuing Healthcare team and request a review of the decision. Provide any additional information or evidence that supports your case.
  2. Independent Review Panel (IRP): If the review is unsuccessful, you can request an independent review by the IRP. The IRP will reassess the case and make a final decision.
  3. Seek Advocacy Support: Consider seeking support from advocacy services such as Age UK or local carers’ organisations. These services can provide guidance and support throughout the appeals process.

Additional Financial Support Options

In addition to NHS Funded Nursing Care, other financial support options may be available to help cover the cost of care:

1. NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC)

NHS Continuing Healthcare is a package of care provided to individuals with complex medical needs. Unlike NHS Funded Nursing Care, CHC covers the entire cost of care, including accommodation and personal care.

2. Local Authority Funding

If your loved one does not qualify for NHS funding, they may be eligible for local authority funding. This funding is means-tested and based on the individual’s financial situation. The local authority will conduct a financial assessment to determine eligibility.

3. Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit available to individuals over 65 who need help with personal care due to a physical or mental disability. This allowance can be used to help cover the cost of care home fees.

4. Personal Savings and Insurance

Personal savings, pensions, and long-term care insurance policies can also be used to help cover the cost of care. It is advisable to seek financial advice to explore the best options for funding care.

Making an Informed Decision

Understanding and sorting out NHS nursing care funding can be challenging, but it is crucial to ensure your loved one receives the appropriate care without undue financial burden. Here are some final tips to help you make an informed decision:

  • Research and Understand Eligibility Criteria: Familiarise yourself with the eligibility criteria and assessment process for NHS Funded Nursing Care.
  • Prepare for Assessments: Gather all necessary medical records and documentation to support the assessment process.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Consider consulting with healthcare professionals, social workers, and financial advisors to explore all available funding options.
  • Stay Informed: Regularly review updates on funding rates and eligibility criteria to ensure your loved one continues to receive the appropriate support.

Remember, securing the right funding for nursing care can significantly affect your loved one’s quality of life. By understanding the process and exploring all available options, you can make the best decision for their well-being.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, our team at Ashberry Care Homes is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you and your loved one through this journey.