Nursing care rates increased

New rates of nursing care support have been announced by the
department of health to come into effect in April.

Each of the three bands have been increased for the estimated
42,000 people who receive payments.

The bands, which are assessed on need, are to rise from
£40-45; £70-75 and £110-120.

The new rates epresent the first increase in payments since free
nursing care payments were introduced in October 2001.

Frank Ursell, chief executive officer of the Registered Nursing
Homes Association, said the figures were still far too low,
especially as the estimated cost of providing 24-hour nursing care
was £459 per week.

He said the public was ” short-changed” and that free nursing
care was a “mirage”.

* The government has increased funding for palliative care by
£50 million per year. There will be a central fund exclusively
for palliative care for three years from 2003-04.

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