Councils and primary care trusts have been told to create
streamlined payment systems when the NHS becomes responsible for
funding nursing care in care homes.
Payments should come from a single source to minimise the
administrative burden on care homes, the Department of Health said
in a circular last week.
The vast majority of assessments of the nursing care required by
care home residents should be completed within nine months.
Responsibility for funding the nursing costs will move from
local authorities to the NHS in April 2003.
“An interim payment by the NHS to councils at an average cost
level would ensure that not all the financial risk is borne by
councils alone and that continuity of payments to providers is
maintained until an assessment is carried out,” the DoH circular