Free nursing care may be capped at £110 per week, according
to guidance issued for consultation this week.
The Department of Health guidance for England proposes three
bands of weekly payment – £35 (low), £70 (medium) and
£110 (high). Nurse co-ordinators will head teams of local
nurses drawn from health authorities or primary care trusts, and
will carry out assessments to determine the level of care, the
The Registered Nursing Homes Association has criticised the
payment levels and assessment method. “Older people have been
short-changed over this nursing care element,” said RNHA chief
executive Frank Ursell. “The government has not learned the lessons
of community care. They’re going to make the assessor the
Currently, the care provided by registered nurses in nursing
homes is charged for on a means-tested basis by social services
departments. But nursing care provided in residential care homes is
usually provided by a registered nurse through the NHS community
nursing service and is already free.
There will be a four-week consultation period for the guidance
ending on 13 August.
DoH draft guidance from www.doh.gov.uk/jointunit/freenursingcare