More money to help pay for nursing care

Nursing home residents are to receive more money to help them pay
for the cost of their nursing care from April.

The three bands of £35, £70 and £110, which
individuals are assessed as being entitled to in order to help pay
for their nursing care, are to be increased to £40, £75
and £120.

Free nursing care, which covers only the care provided by a
registered nurse, was introduced for self-funding nursing home
residents in October 2000.

About 42,000 people are thought to have benefited, although care
homes have come under fire for raising fees to levels that have
absorbed the contributions.

From April, the cost of nursing care for about 85,000 residents
will transfer from local authorities to the NHS.

But the Registered Nursing Home Association said it was
disappointed with the increases, claiming that free nursing care
remained “something of a mirage”.

Age Concern said the increases did not reflect the true cost of
nursing care, warning that residents were unlikely to see any
benefit after care homes raised their fees in April.

The government has also decided to abolish VAT on home care, which
will reduce costs for those who choose to be cared for at home
rather than elsewhere.

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