Unlike residential care, everybody who requires nursing care is eligible for some level of funding. First things first, it is important to understand the difference between a Residential Care Home and a Nursing Home:
Residential Care Home: Care is provided 24-hours a day by trained Care Assistants. Commonly residents are elderly and their need for care is because of degenerative health conditions associated with ageing e.g. reduced mobility.
Nursing Home: Care is provided 24-hours a day by Registered Nurses who are supported by Care Assistants. All residents require some element of nursing care such as administration of intravenous medication and or wound care; these are just a few possible reasons why 24-hour nursing care would be required.
Typically nursing home costs are higher than those of a residential care home, the reason for this is that generally the needs of the individual are greater and as such require additional staff, facilities and resources to support complex care requirements.
If you have nursing needs then it is likely that there will be a number of healthcare professionals already involved in your care. A Social Worker, Registered Nurse and Doctor will all be able to inform you of whether your care needs should be supported within a nursing home or a residential home.
Everybody who requires nursing care is eligible for Funded Nursing Care (FNC).
If you have been assessed as requiring nursing care then you will be eligible for Funded Nursing Care (FNC), this is paid directly to the nursing home. FNC is paid at a flat rate of £183.92 a week unless you are eligible for the higher rate of FNC which is paid at £253.02 a week.
The local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is responsible for managing the NHS budget in your location. They will carry out an assessment to check your eligibility for FNC, providing you are eligible the payment will be made directly to the nursing home.
The only people who are not eligible for FNC are those who have been awarded NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) as this covers the complete cost of nursing care, again this is paid directly to the Nursing Home.
Who is eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare?
If you have significant ongoing healthcare needs then you might be eligible to have your care funded by the NHS, this specific type of funding is called Continuing Healthcare (CHC).
CHC is a package of care which is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for people outside of hospital who have a primary and ongoing healthcare need. This type of funded care package is open to anyone who is over 18 and has an ongoing care requirement due to disability, illness or accident.
Continuing Healthcare can be paid in any setting, including the person's own home or a residential care home
Scenario: Your Mother has been admitted to hospital after suffering from a stroke, she has lost mobility down her right side and now requires permanent nursing care.
The hospital needs to determine that your Mother’s care needs can be met before discharging her from hospital. As part of the discharge process a Social Worker, Discharge CoOrdinator or Discharge Nurse will complete a checklist which identifies whether you are a candidate for CHC funding.
Providing she is a candidate then she will be referred for a full assessment which is conducted by a CHC Assessor and involves the input of all relevant healthcare professionals. When the team of healthcare professionals meet to discuss eligibility you are very welcome to attend this meeting, this team will then give their recommendation to the CCG who will then confirm funding.
The CCG will then write to you with their decision.
Fast track funding:
If your health is deteriorating quickly and your care needs are becoming palliative then your CHC assessment will likely be fast-tracked so your funding can be secured without delay. Government guidance says that care should be put in place within 48 hours if found eligible under the fast track pathway.
FNC doesn’t cover all of my nursing home costs, I’m not eligible for CHC, do I have to pay for the rest of my fees?
If you have less than £23,250 in assets you will be eligible for some level of council funding. This is the same process that people who require residential care go through, to find out more about funding thresholds and how to secure funding please see here.
**Please note that from October 2023, the funding thresholds will be changing so that anyone with assets below £20,000 will qualify for full council funding, anyone with assets between £20,000 - £100,000 will be eligible for part council funding and anyone with assets above £100,000 will not be eligible for funding until they have contributed £86,000 towards their care**