Funded Nursing Care refunds – should your care fees reduce?

Funded Nursing Care refunds – should your care fees reduce?

Funded Nursing Care refundsFunded Nursing Care refunds: should a nursing home reduce your fees when it’s already paid by the CCG for providing nursing care?

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has published new guidance about Funded Nursing Care refunds. (Funded Nursing Care is also known as FNC.)

Funded Nursing Care is paid directly to a nursing home when a person is found ineligible for full NHS  Continuing Healthcare funding, and yet the person still has nursing needs.

That sounds like a contradiction it itself – and it certainly can be. Many families believe their relatives have been wrongly denied full NHS Continuing Healthcare funding and ‘given’ Funded Nursing Care instead – which is a lower cost for the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

(Note: Funded Nursing Care payments are not made to ordinary residential homes nor to providers of care at home.)

Another problem families report is CCGs failing to assess people properly for full NHS Continuing Healthcare funding before decisions are made about Funded Nursing Care. It’s vital that the assessment process for full Continuing Healthcare take place first – always.

What’s more, where Funded Nursing Care payments are made to a nursing home for a specific person’s nursing care, there are many complaints from families that the person in care does not see any reduction in their fees. Let’s remember that nursing care in the UK (generally speaking) is free of charge. So why are some people in nursing homes paying for their nursing care?

Funded Nursing Care refunds – should your relative receive one?

The new guidance from the Ombudsman highlights some of the things that go wrong when a nursing home receives a Funded Nursing Care payment to cover the cost of nursing care for a resident.

It looks at these 4 scenarios involving potential Funded Nursing Care refunds:

1. where the total care fees include nursing care

2. where nursing care fees had previously been reduced for a resident, but then the level of Funded Nursing Care payment available to the home increased

3. where there was no contract to start with between the home and the resident

4. where there was a contract, but it failed to address the subject of Funded Nursing Care

If your relative receives Funded Nursing Care, they may or may not have seen a reduction in their care fees.

Funded Nursing Care payments are currently £155.05 per week in England. Read more here about the rates. It’s hard to see how that amount could cover the actual cost of nursing care in some instances, but that’s another debate.

Although the new Ombudsman guidance is aimed at nursing care providers, there are some vital points that families can draw from it:

  • Make sure you always have a written contract with the nursing home, and that you know on what basis they are charging you fees.
  • Make sure you have a written breakdown of those care fees and that it’s very clear what (if anything) is being charged for nursing care – and on what basis this might happen in the future.
  • If the total care fees include nursing care, then it’s logical to expect the total care fees to reduce once the nursing home starts receiving Funded Nursing Care payments from the CCG. If not, the home is effectively being paid twice.
  • If you feel you are being wrongly charged nursing care, address it with the nursing home first. You might also want to copy your letter to the CCG and also the Head of Adult Care at the local authority.

Read the Ombudsman guidance here: Funded Nursing Care payments – guidance for care providers – on the right hand side of that page click the link under ‘Downloads’.

Read more about how FNC is ‘assessed’

What’s your experience with Funded Nursing Care?

2 Comments

  1. Peter Jennings 1 week ago

    My mother moved in to a care home in Aug. 2015. During our initial search for a suitable care home we visited about 12 premises & when discussing terms some advised that Funded Nursing Care (FNC) funding was in addition to the fees quoted, others as in the case of our chosen place, advised that FNC funding was deducted from the fees quoted.
    At this stage, we had no idea if mother would receive any funding, however she did receive a level of FNC funding & back dated payments were return to her by the care provider & future monthly invoices were reduced by the funding received. The fact that the FNC funding was deducted from the gross room rate is a very clear indication that her gross room rate had been calculated to include her nursing care.
    On 23 Nov. 2015 we were advised that with effect from 1 Jan. 2016 the gross room rate would be increased by 8.55% & the letter continued to state “If you are in receipt of FNC then your gross fee will continue to be reduced by this amount”
    On 3 August 2016 we were informed that the NHS had carried out a comprehensive review of FNC contribution & was therefore to be increased by £44.25 per week.
    We were then informed that the increased FNC funding had increased the operating costs of the care provider & in accordance with their terms & conditions [ an additional clause that allows for increased operating costs such as taxation or statuary changes] have no option other than to increase the gross room rate by £44.25 per week.
    I first wrote to the care provider & then to two MP’s without any joy so tried the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO). Imagine my disappointment when the investigator at the LGO deliberately misunderstood my complaint & quoted “Your second complaint is that the care provider increased its care costs by 8.55%. It gave notice it was going to do this & explained why this is the case. The LGO could not say this is fault”. My answer is that there was NO second complaint made by myself to the LGO. I feel that the care provider has breached consumer law by altering & manipulating their terms & conditions and welcome this latest development.

  2. Helen Taylor 1 week ago

    My husband has been in a nursing home since Nov 2014 and is self funding. I have tried to get NHS Continuing Healthcare but the assessors say he is not eligible. He has Alzheimer’s is doubly incontinent, cannot feed himself and sits in a chair all day. I provided a pressure relieving cushion so he doesn’t have sores. He gets hoisted in and out of bed. I will ask to see the contract. Thank you for your information.

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