The amount of money nursing homes can claim from the NHS to cover essential registered nurse care will increase by 4.7% next financial year, the government has announced.
The weekly rate per patient for NHS-funded nursing care – also referred to as FNC – will rise from the current figure of £158.16, to £165.56 in 2019-20, the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed on Friday.
“It is not what we were hoping for and we will be considering next steps”
FNC is funded by the NHS for nursing home residents assessed as needing care by a registered nurse.
The latest rates are based on an independent review of the costs by healthcare consultant firm Laing Buisson.
The DHSC said the study showed FNC costs had increased at a sustained and above inflation rate since the last full review in 2016.
As a result, the department has called on care providers to become 3.1% more efficient in their delivery of FNC services to control further increases.
In addition, the DHSC has placed a requirement on nursing homes to ensure no more than 10% of FNC hours are delivered by agency nurses.
Before October 2007, there were three different levels or bands of payment for NHS-funded nursing care – low, medium and high.
There is now just one standard rate but patients who were on the higer rate before the switch date are still entitled to it.
prof martin green index
DSHC has announced that the higher rate of FNC will also increase by 4.7% from the current £217.59, to £227.77 per week for 2019-20.
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, which acts as a voice for the country’s independent care sector, expressed disappointment over the rate.
“At long last the FNC rate has been announced,” he said. “It is not what we were hoping for and we will be considering next steps early next week.”
Nursing Times approached Laing Buisson for further information about the findings of the review. A spokesman said a report would be published “in due course”.
It comes after the standard FNC rate rose by 2% from £155.05 in 2017-18 to £158.16 in 2018-19.