The Royal Commission on Long-Term Care for the Elderly, published in July 1999, called for free nursing and personal care to be available for all. In the event, only nursing care was deemed to satisfy the doctrine of ‘health care free at the point of delivery’ and the Registered Nursing Care Contribution (RNCC) was introduced for people who were being cared for in registered nursing homes.
Over the years there has been little change to the value of the RNCC, now called Funded Nursing Care (FNC), despite significant increases in the costs being met by nursing homes.
In 2015 the Government commissioned accountancy firm Mazars to undertake an enquiry into the value of FNC and in July 2016 the Department of Health announced an increase in FNC from the then current £112.00 to £156.25 per week, but qualified that announcement as being an interim award and called upon Mazars to undertake a further enquiry into the value of the agency costs being met by nursing homes.
Mazars reported earlier this year and on Wednesday 15th March 2017 the Department of Health announced that the FNC was being reduced from £156.25 to £155.00 – a reduction of £1.25 per week.
It is difficult to put into words the disappointment felt over such a derisory reduction. The Care Quality Commission in its annual report in 2016 identified that Adult Social Care was at a “tipping point”. Many independent commentators have confirmed the current fragility of the sector.
One must ask the question where does this reduction sit in the whole scheme of things ? The Budget reported a £2 billion increase in funding and a Green Paper in the Summer to look at the whole question of funding.
In the meantime a payment which is made to individuals, whether funded by Local Authorities or themselves to cover the cost of their health care needs is to be reduced by £1.25 per week ….. an amount which will probably be lost in the transaction cost of making the changes.
The FNC reduction was announced by the Department of Health on Wednesday 15th March 2017, the link to the announcement can be found here ; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhs-funded-nursing-care-rate-for-2017-to-2018