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New study to investigate NHS nursing home staffing costs

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New research to help determine a “fair” rate for NHS-funded nursing home care will get under way next month, it has been announced.

The project will include a survey of all nursing homes in England to gather data on staffing costs and care needs, said healthcare market analysts LaingBuisson, who will undertake the work.

“We are pleased to be working with the Department of Health and Social care on this vital piece of work”

William Laing

The company revealed it would look at a number of factors in coming up with a “fair” calculation for 2018-19, having been awarded the contract to review the NHS-Funded Nursing Care rate in England by the Department for Health and Social Care.

These include the cost to nursing homes of providing registered nursing staff per resident per week.

The company said it would also look at the proportion of nursing care provided by registered nursing staff that should be included in the rate by law, and the share of nursing home residents who qualify.

The project will include a survey of all nursing homes in England, which will get under way next month.

There will also be a more detailed survey aimed at a 10% sample of nursing homes.

LaingBuisson hoped greater use of technology would help make collecting key information quicker and easier and ensure a “robust dataset”.

“The survey will be supported by online forms and a mobile app which we believe will offer a more reliable way of collecting and collating data from the survey than traditional methods,” said the firm.

William Laing, data director at LaingBuisson, said the project would help the government make key decisions about funding.

“We are pleased to be working with the Department of Health and Social care on this vital piece of work,” he said.

“As close market observers over the past 30 years, we recognise the importance of this work in enabling the department to make evidence-based decisions to set a fair FNC rate which is key to ensuring many people in nursing homes receive the care they need,” he added.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • This is an exciting and much needed piece of work. We have been using Establishment Genie to understand staffing levels and costs across 45 care homes who accept CHC patients in support of work by a Welsh Health Board to look at staffing in terms of the Nurse Staffing Act and patient outcomes to identify how we can support independent providers of care better and reduce the need to access acute care and other community services. It is exciting times, as there is no other tool that has captured this level of data for care homes, and in conjunction with the data captured from other community services we are starting to create a picture of the current state across the Health Board to inform how we plan effectively for the future. More focus on independent care provision and how this links with our future services can only be a positive thing, as more care is provided outside of the NHS than within it, and this is predicted to continue to increase with even more reliance on independent providers of care in the future. I look forward to seeing the outcomes of the LaingBuisson work and triangulating these with our data to support evidenced based decision making.

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