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This form of NHS funding, also known as the registered nursing care contribution (RNCC), is for nursing care provided in a nursing home, but funded by the NHS.

Nursing homes (care homes with nursing care) usually employ their own registered nurses but if the NHS has assessed your relative as needing nursing care, it will pay the care home a standard rate for the nursing element of care. It won’t pay for the other care home costs, such as the accommodation.

Who can get NHS funded nursing care?

Your relative should receive NHS funding for nursing care (FNC) if:

  • they are a resident within a care home that is registered to provide nursing care; and
  • they do not qualify for NHS continuing healthcare, but have been assessed as requiring the services of a registered nurse.

How your relative is assessed

In all cases a person’s eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare should be considered before a decision to give nursing care contribution is reached. Your relative’s nursing needs should therefore have been assessed during the assessment for continuing healthcare. If your relative is in a nursing home and you think her or she should qualify for the NHS-funded nursing care payments, ask the staff in the home.

What will your relative get?

Registered nursing care can include direct nursing tasks as well as the planning, supervision and monitoring of nursing and healthcare tasks to meet your relative’s needs.

The value of NHS-funded nursing care in England has received a 40% boost from the government, so from 15 July 2016 the payment has risen to £156.25 a week in England. The nursing care contribution is paid directly to the care home by the NHS. 

For those people who were already on a higher rate of FNC from before 2007, when a single band was introduced, their payments has risen to £215.04 per week.

If your relative pays their own care fees, this amount will be deducted from their bill. If they are council-funded, the council will deduct this amount from the money it pays to the care home.

However, the new rate is being paid on an interim basis while further work is done to review the element of the rate for agency nursing staff. This could mean a reduction in the rate from 1 January 2017. The government is also consulting on introducing regional variations from April 2017.

Outside England

In Scotland, people aged 65 and over assessed as needing care in a care home are eligible to claim personal care payments, which contribute towards the cost of their care, and people of any age who need nursing care are eligible to apply for nursing care payments. 

These payments are made to everyone assessed as eligible, regardless of income or capital. The amount a Scottish council can pay towards care costs is currently (April 2016):

  • £171 per week for personal care
  • £78 per week for nursing care, or
  • £249 to cover both personal care and nursing care.

A judge has decided that local councils only need to pay for your personal and nursing care once they have assessed you as requiring a care home placement. Therefore, if you decide to arrange your own care home placement, prior to an assessment from the local council, you will not receive any financial contribution from the council until the assessment has been completed. 

It should also be noted that if the outcome of the council's assessment is that you do not require a care home placement, then you will not receive any financial contribution from the local council towards your care home costs. You might not be paid the free personal and nursing care payments until the local council has organised the contractual paperwork with the care home. 

In Wales, the weekly payment remains at £140.90 per week (2016-17).

More information

Page last reviewed: 23 June 2016
Next review due: 31 January 2018