The NHS contribution towards the costs of a place in a care home with nursing is being increased to £156.25 per week, a rise of 40% over the 2015-16 rate of £112.
Funded Nursing Care is a contribution towards an individual’s care home costs paid for by the NHS to reflect the fact that the individual has nursing needs that can only be met by a registered nurse. It is only paid to care homes that are registered to provide nursing care.
Residents eligible for the higher rate of nursing care funding will have £215.04 paid to the care home per week.
The rise will be backdated to April 1, meaning an operator providing nursing care at the standard rate will receive the £44.25 difference between last year’s rate and this year’s for 15 weeks – a windfall of almost £700 per resident.
The increased rate is seen as vital by the industry, which has been withdrawing from the provision of nursing services because of the difficulty of recruiting and retaining nurses at an affordable rate.
This in turn has increased the problem of older people being left in hospital rather than being discharged to care homes following treatment. It is estimated that this “bed blocking” costs tax payers £3 billion because it is more expensive to keep people in hospital beds compared to care homes.
Trade association Care England, which has been lobbying hard for the increased Funded Nursing Care rate, is satisfied with the settlement.
Professor Martin Green, OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: “The recognition by Ministers and the Department of Health of the important role of nurses working in nursing homes and increasing the funding to residents for their nursing care, is welcome news.
“Care England has worked tirelessly to ensure the rate of FNC was properly reviewed after so many years of nil or very low increases. We thank Mazars LLP for their work in undertaking the review and the DH for following up the review. We will contribute to the remaining research around agency use that needs to be carried out to ensure a final rate is agreed.”