Care England, the largest representative body for independent care providers for adult social care has expressed its concern that a number of NHS bodies are failing to pay for increased cost pressures of looking after vulnerable people in Nursing Care Homes.
Under Government rules, the NHS is responsible for arranging and funding care for individuals who are not in hospital and have been assessed as having a primary health need via NHS Continuing Health Care (CHC). Many residents in nursing care homes are eligible for this important support, but despite significant increases in NHS funding, combined with nursing homes offering better options and value for money than hospitals, some Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have not increased their CHC funding for 2018/19. These decisions are adding further pressures upon an already fragile sector, with nursing homes closing at an increasing rate piling even more pressures upon an over-stretched NHS. Care homes have seen rising costs including National Minimum Wage rates and nurse pay, all of which are essential to ensure that the best calibre staff are recruited and trained.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England says:
“Decisions by some CCGs make absolutely no sense at all. Zero % fee decisions result in vulnerable people at risk of ending up in hospital and not in care settings within their communities. This is exactly what the NHS is trying to avoid. Once again we call for a long term holistic plan by looking at the bigger picture”.
Evidence gathered by Care England notes that the following CCGs have decided on 0% fee offers for 2018/19:
- Waltham Forest
- Stafford and Surrounds
- Cannock Chase
- East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula
- North Staffordshire
- Stoke on Trent.
This is not a complete list as many CCGs have yet to agree fees adding to more complications and planning conundrums for providers:
Professor Martin Green continues:
“Providers want to work with CCGs to find the best solution. There are of course pockets of excellent practice and there need to be the mechanisms in place to replicate these throughout the country, but this calls for providers, CCGs and commissioners to work together”.