Service users given NHS care assurance

The government has moved to prevent people being wrongly denied NHS continuing care.

The Department of Health has reiterated guidance that service users should first be considered for continuing care before the registered nursing care contribution (RNCC).

The move follows criticisms from the health ombudsman that some users were not being considered for continuing care and were being placed on RNCC.

It is supposed to cover only the nursing element of a care package, is funded by the NHS and is worth 120 a week, with the balance picked up by councils and service users.

However, the average nursing home fee in 2004-5 was more than £520 a week, all of which would be covered by the NHS under continuing care, which is reserved for people with a “primary health need”.

Over a year, an incorrect continuing care decision would cost councils and service users more than £20,000 on average.

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