5% rise in nursing payments to care homes

Increase in funded nursing care for 2023-24, which follows 11.5% rise last year, comes amid ongoing recruitment and retention pressures for homes

Nurse helping woman rehabilitate in care home
Photo: Rido/Adobe Stock

NHS payments to care homes to fund nursing will rise by 5% for 2023-24, the Department of Health and Social Care announced yesterday.

Standard funded nursing care (FNC) weekly payments will rise from £209.19 to £219.71 from 1 April, with the very few residents on the legacy higher rate seeing an increase in their payments from £287.78 to £302.25 per week.

The FNC funds either the provision of care, or the planning, supervision or delegation of such care, by registered nurses in care homes.

The DHSC said the rise, which follows an 11.5% hike in the payments last year, was “based on adult social care data which is quality assured and independently verified”.

The 2023-24 rise is in line with the 5% pay increase offered to nurses in the NHS for 2023-24 and is also similar to the government’s projection for the rate of inflation – according to its preferred consumer price index measure – for 2023-24, of 5.5%.

As of March 2022, pay for registered nurses in care homes averaged £34,800, which was within the range of band 6 for senior or specialist nurses working in the NHS, which was £32,306 to £39,027 at the time, according to Skills for Care data.

High turnover

However, care homes have experienced significant challenges recruiting and retaining nurses in recent years. Skills for Care figures show that 44.9% of nursing home nurses (around 12,000) left their posts in 2021-22, compared with a turnover rate of 10.9% for NHS nurses and health visitors.

In addition, 14.6% of social care nursing posts – most of which are in care homes – were vacant as of March 2022, the highest for any social care role, while 18,500 filled nursing posts had been lost to the sector in the preceding decade, equivalent to 36% of the total in 2012-13.

As of January 2023, the vacancy rate for social care nurses was 13% among those providers that had submitted data since March 2022, above the adult social care average (10.9%), but in line with that for care workers (13.1%).


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