Features and Operation of the NHS Funded Nursing Care Contribution?

When looking at care fee planning it can be overwhelming with the various different types of care available and who has to pay for it. There are in essence two main types, these being care funded by the NHS and Social Care. There are two types of care funded by the NHS, these are NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS funded Nursing Care. Social Care is a separate element and relates to non-medical care such as home help and this is provided by the local authority/social services. This blog looks at NHS funded Nursing Care and how it operates.

How to know if you’re eligible for NHS Funded Nursing Care?

NHS Funded Nursing Care is provided where an individual has medical needs that require the intervention or supervision of a registered nurse. It is paid to individuals who do not qualify for the NHS Continuing Healthcare but to those who need nursing care rather than just residential care in a registered nursing home. An individual cannot be in receipt of both NHS Continuing Health Care and Funded Nursing Care.

In order to ascertain whether an individual is eligible for any NHS funding, they must be assessed through the National Framework system which determines eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare in the first instance. If not eligible for Continuing Healthcare, the next stage is an assessment normally undertaken by a nurse in a care home or by two or more practitioners. This takes into account the individual’s condition and behaviour. A Care Plan is then drawn up clearly stating the individual’s needs and how these are to be provided. (for example a registered nurse, non-medial or combination of both).

NHS Funded Care payments are fixed rates and are made directly to the nursing home, as the payment is to support the provision of nursing care. If an individual is self funding their care home the amount of fees they pay should fall by the amount of the NHS Funded Nursing Care contribution. The payment is tax-free and non means tested, if an individual is in receipt of this it will not affect their entitlement to any other benefits. This benefit is not paid if the individual is admitted to hospital so if they wish to keep their room in the care home it is likely they will have to pay the whole amount.

For the 2019/2020 tax year, the level of benefit in England is £165.56 per week. There is a higher rate (which is £227.77 per week) payable for individuals who were already on the higher rate when the single band was introduced in 2007.

When looking at later life planning there is a lot to consider, generally, individuals look at what is available from the State to then help identify any shortfall. Once this has been ascertained consideration needs to be given to how this shortfall can be met and potentially how long any existing assets will ‘last for’.

At Wingate Financial Planning, we use cash flow forecasting to be able to model/estimate how long assets will support the care fees and then provide solutions to the most appropriate investment or product which can be used.

If you are looking for assistance in this area please do not hesitate to contact me. Tel: 01883 332 261

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