Final guidance on free nursing care moves closer

The Health and Social Care Act 2001 removes local councils’
responsibility for arranging care by a registered nurse as part of
community care, and paves the way for the introduction of free
nursing care provided by the NHS.

New directions provide that, from 1 October 2001, self-funders
in nursing home care will no longer have to pay for registered
nurse care in a nursing home where the NHS assesses such care as
needed. The directions and draft “circular guidance on providing
NHS free nursing care for people in nursing homes” can be found at

The draft guidance was issued on 17 July 2001 with responses due
by 13 August 2001. Given that the new system begins to be
implemented in October 2001, it is unlikely that there will be
major changes.

From 1 April 2002, the NHS will become responsible for
determining the care by a registered nurse required by other
nursing home residents, previously the responsibility of councils.
This will include those people supported by local authorities. This
will also include approximately 15,000 nursing home residents who
entered residential accommodation before 1993 and who are currently
in receipt of preserved rights to higher rates of income

Stephen Cragg

Doughty Street Chambers

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