Care homes should pass on new nursing care savings to their clients, says Beacon CHC.

Posted on: July 25th, 2016 by Jane

If you or a loved one are paying nursing home costs, the bills may seem to be constantly on the rise. But an announcement by the Department of Health will lead to an immediate reduction in costs for care homes with nursing, which they should pass on to clients.

Funded nursing care (FNC) is the NHS’ contribution toward the costs of a place in a care home for people assessed as needing the help of a registered nurse. On 13 July 2016 the Department of Health announced that the standard rate they will pay for FNC is to rise by 40% to £156.25 per week.

This significant hike will impact the costs of care of more than 80,000 care home residents that receive FNC in the UK. It follows an independent review commissioned by the Department of Health in November – the first since 2001.

The review surveyed 405 UK care homes on the true costs of nursing care. It found there were large differences according to region, size and specialism of the home, but recommended an average national weekly FNC rate of £156.25 – increased from the current £112 FNC rate.

For those care home residents assessed to require the help of a registered nurse, clinical commissioning groups will now pay homes £156.25 for nursing care. The increase will be backdated to 1 April 2016 for those people who received FNC from that time.

Dan Harbour, our Managing Director, said: “FNC rates have been out of step with the real costs of nursing care for some time, so we’re delighted to see such a substantial increase.”

“We want to see care homes with nursing using this windfall to reduce their fees to clients, and I would recommend highlighting the new FNC rate to the Manager of your nursing home.”

The FNC rate review also recommended a deeper assessment into the impact on costs of the increasing use of agency nursing staff, and consideration of regional rates. As such this new FNC rate has been set as an interim measure while further work is completed. It is possible rates could reduce once more in 2017.

If you have a question about eligibility for NHS-funded nursing care or continuing care costs, you can call us for free advice on 0345 548 0300 or send us a question.

About Beacon

Beacon CHC is a leading UK-wide social enterprise with profits donated to charity to fund vital older peoples’ services.

Our specialist caseworkers provide a comprehensive and ethical advocacy and support service for individuals trying to navigate the maze of NHS continuing healthcare funding.

We also run an independent support service – funded by the NHS – for people in England who need free information and advice in relation to NHS continuing healthcare.