Many people miss out on RNCC – Registered Nursing Care Contribution (also known as Funded Nursing Care – FNC) – and yet it’s a tax-free, non means tested benefit for people in care homes who need some degree of nursing care.
RNCC is also sometimes known as Free Nursing Care.
In this article we’ll call it FNC – Funded Nursing Care.
The most common question people ask us is how FNC is assessed – and it often surprises them to hear that it’s not actually assessed in itself.
Instead, it’s awarded to people who have been turned down for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding (full funding), but who still need some degree of nursing care.
In other words, there must be a proper assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding FIRST, and it’s only once the outcome of that assessment is known that a decision is made about FNC.
So we’re talking about two different types of funding here:
- NHS Continuing Care – this is full funding and it covers 100% of the costs of receiving full-time care, whether at home or in a care home. It covers 100% of care fees – everything.
- Funded Nursing Care (FNC) / Registered Nursing Care Contribution – this is a weekly benefit for people who need some nursing care, but who are deemed not to warrant the above full funding.
NHS Continuing Healthcare and FNC are not the same thing.
We have heard of several CCGs that routinely ‘assess’ for FNC first, as a matter of course, instead of assessing for full Continuing Healthcare funding. The result? Families are left unaware that their relative may in fact be eligible for full funding, but is instead only receiving a small weekly allowance.
FNC is paid directly to a nursing care home and, depending on how the care home contract is written, it may lower the care fees paid by the individual. FNC is not available if the person needing care is in their own home or is in an ordinary care home; instead, they must be in a nursing home.
The only way anyone can decide whether you should receive FNC is for you to first have an assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare.
What should you do?
If your relative has nursing needs but is not receiving either of the above two types of funding:
- Make sure they are assessed for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding (full funding).
- If they’ve already been assessed for full funding, but turned down, ask the NHS Continuing Care Team why FNC has not been awarded.
- Ask the care home to give you a breakdown of the nursing element of care in your relative’s care plan to support your enquiry.
Remember: You should be assessed for NHS Continuing Healthcare first. Only after that should a decision be made about FNC – not the other way round.
And of course, if you believe the outcome of the NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment was wrong, you can appeal.