What is NHS-funded Nursing Care?
NHS-funded Nursing Care (FNC) is funding provided by the NHS to cover the cost of care by a registered nurse in a care home or nursing home.
This is funded by the NHS in England and Wales, and by the Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts in Northern Ireland. It is sometimes called registered nursing care contribution.
The equivalent support in Scotland comes in the form of free personal care and nursing care payments, which can be claimed by anyone living in a care home who has been assessed as needing those types of care. The payments are made by the local authority.
Nursing homes (care homes with nursing care) usually employ their own registered nurses. If you have been assessed as needing nursing care, the NHS will pay the home a standard rate for the nursing element of care. It won’t pay for the other care home costs, such as food and accommodation.
Registered nursing care can include direct nursing tasks as well as the planning, supervision and monitoring of nursing and healthcare tasks to meet your needs.
How much is FNC?
The NHS-funded Nursing Care payments per week (2021-22) were:
- England: £187.60
- Wales: £184.32 for the NHS component, £7.48 for the local authority/self-funder component.
- Northern Ireland: £100
We are awaiting confirmation of the payments for 2022-23, there are currently no plans to raise the payments in Northern Ireland.
The nursing care contribution is paid directly to the care home by the NHS. If you pay your own care fees, this amount should be deducted from the bill. Although it might be the case that the care home will quote you a fee that doesn’t include nursing costs, in which case they are unlikely to pass on the FNC.
Before 1 October 2007 FNC was paid at three different levels – low, medium and high. If you qualified for FNC before 1 October 2007 and continue to qualify in 2021-22, you will receive the higher rate of £258.08 per week in England.
Free nursing care in Scotland
The system is different in Scotland. Here, adults who have been assessed as needing nursing care are entitled to receive a flat-rate payment to cover the nursing care part of their care home fees. The payment is made by their local council rather than the NHS.
The nursing care payment in Scotland is £95.80 per week (2022-23).
In Scotland, you may also be eligible for a free personal care payment of £212.85 per week. You should receive this payment if you have been assessed as needing personal care, either in your own home or in a care home.
If you are a care home resident in Scotland and qualify for both payments, your local authority will contribute £308.65 per week towards your care costs.
For more information about council funding in Scotland and elsewhere, read our guide to local authority funding for care homes.
Who can get NHS-funded Nursing Care?
A person should be eligible for NHS funding for nursing care (FNC) if:
- they are a resident in a care home that is registered to provide nursing care
- they have been assessed as requiring the services of a registered nurse
- and they do not qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare.
How are people assessed for NHS-funded Nursing Care?
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 nursing needs should therefore have been assessed during the assessment for Continuing Healthcare.
For more information about the assessment process for Continuing Healthcare, read our article: NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC).
If you or someone you care for is in a nursing home and you think you/they should qualify for NHS-funded Nursing Care payments, ask the manager for advice on your next steps.