Even though the country has been in lockdown due to Coronavirus, the ‘normal’ reasons for needing residential or nursing care still exist. However, it is undeniable that COVID19 has changed the care landscape for the short-term, there has been a huge spike in the following care referrals:
1. Care straight from hospital discharge
In an attempt to free up hospital beds, there has been a spike in referrals from Hospital discharge teams & Social Workers.
2. Respite care
The government's advice for over 70’s and vulnerable adults to self-isolate makes it impossible to continue caring for elderly dependents. Lots of families are choosing to send their loved ones on temporary care/nursing home stays for the ‘peace of mind’ that they are being cared for.
In these uncertain times, it is still important to be practical and have a clear understanding of the cost of care & any funding support you may be entitled to.
Residential & Nursing Home funding
The NHS & Local Authority are pooling resources and there is a new type of short-term funding for both residential and nursing care called COVID19 funding.
Unlike Local Authority funding for residential care, Social Workers are able to negotiate on fees using the COVID19 funding. This gives them a greater choice of care/nursing homes that they can refer to, as opposed to just referring to care providers who will accept the Local Authority agreed rate of funding.
The biggest reason for COVID19 funding being awarded is to facilitate an immediate discharge from the hospital. This is a short-term funding package and is not means-tested, private funders are eligible for this funding type and will then transition to paying for their care privately. Every local authority is managing their funding differently and you will need to speak with the hospital discharge team and or social work team to find out your eligibility.
Continuing Healthcare Funding (CHC)
There has been a rise in the amount of people being approved for Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding. In order to be eligible for CHC funding, you must have nursing care needs and meet the eligibility criteria. It is likely that you will of been admitted to hospital and been assessed as having nursing care needs to qualify for CHC funding.
Funded Nursing Care (FNC)
Whether privately funded or local authority funded, anybody who requires nursing care and is not awarded CHC or COVID19 funding is eligible for Funded Nursing Care (FNC). FNC is a contribution of £180.31 a week from the NHS to cover the cost of having 24-hour nursing care. FNC is paid directly to the nursing home, if you are a private funder it is always worth asking whether their weekly fees are inclusive of FNC.
To speak with a specialist Care Adviser about funding residential or nursing care please call for free, help and advice.
Residential Care Funding
Local Authority Funding
If COVID19 funding has not been granted and you do not have savings or assets of more than £23,250 you will be eligible for funding support from your local authority. In order to secure Local Authority funding, you will need to have been assessed by a Social Worker and meet their criteria for requiring 24-hour residential care. Contact your Local Authority/GP to find out what their current process is for being referred to a Social Worker.
Privately funded care-seekers
If you are privately funding residential or nursing care because you do not qualify for COVID19 funding and or have assets over £23,250 the process for paying for your care remains the same. You will pay the care provider directly for their services at an agreed weekly rate. To find out more about the process for finding care, including assessments and admissions during COVID19, please read here.
12 week property disregard
If you need to sell your house in order to fund your ongoing care needs then you will be eligible for the 12 week property disregard. This is where your Local Authority steps in to pay for your care (at the local authority rate) for the first 12 weeks. If your house has not sold during this time they will continue to fund your care but you will be required to pay back any fees paid after the initial 12 weeks. A small interest fee will be applied to the money owing.