Money Advice Service

If you pay some or all of your own fees in a care home where you’re receiving care from a registered nurse or doctor, you might be entitled to a NHS Nursing Care Contribution towards the cost of treatment. Typically this will reduce the amount you pay in fees, so it’s worth checking.

What is NHS-funded nursing care?

Living in Northern Ireland?

Your local Health and Social Care Trust is responsible for paying the contribution.

Download the leaflet ‘Payments for Nursing Care’from the nidirect website.

NHS-funded nursing care is a tax-free, non-means-tested benefit, paid by the NHS to cover nursing or medical care.

It’s paid whether you’re paying for your own care or your local authority or trust is paying for it.

Can I get NHS funded nursing care?

You might be able to get NHS-funded nursing care if:

  • you’re not eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, but you’ve been assessed as needing care from a registered nurse, and
  • you live in a care home that’s registered to provide nursing care

How does the NHS Nursing Care Contribution work?

Your care needs are assessed before you go into a care home.

If you’re assessed as needing nursing care, the NHS (or Health and Personal Social Services in Northern Ireland) will pay a contribution towards your nursing fees.

It’s paid directly to the care home to reimburse them for the nursing care they’re providing for you.

If you’re paying all your own fees, which include nursing costs, the amount you’ll end up paying will be reduced by the NHS-funded nursing care amount.

If you only pay some of your care costs, you might still be better off.

The care home is obliged to show you how the NHS-funded nursing care reduces your fees.

If you don’t see any difference, ask them about it.

The NHS-funded nursing care won’t be paid if you go into hospital, but you’ll probably still have to pay the care home the full fee to keep your room.

If you no longer need nursing care, your NHS-funded nursing care contribution might stop.

Can you receive the NHS Nursing Care Contribution if your stay is only temporary?

Did you know?

NHS-funded nursing care is different to NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, which is available even if you live in your own home.

A NHS-funded nursing care contribution should still be paid if your stay in the care home is temporary.

If you’re staying for six weeks or less, you won’t have to be formally assessed.

Instead, your need for nursing care will be based on information provided by the care home or your GP.

NHS-funded nursing care can be a useful contribution towards costs if you need regular periods of respite care.

How much is Nursing Care Contribution?

The actual amount of Nursing Care Contribution paid depends on where you live in the UK.

Region Rates of NHS-funded nursing care in 2018-19
England £158.16 per week for the standard rate, and £217.59 per week for the higher rate, applicable only to persons who were receiving the higher rate in 2007 before the single standard rate was introduced
Wales £148.01 per week
Scotland £78 per week for nursing care and/or £171 per week for personal care – up to a total of £249 per week. See Age UK Scotland factsheet for more information.
Northern Ireland £100 per week

How to apply for NHS-funded nursing care

If your care needs are being assessed by your local authority or trust, ask them to assess you for NHS-funded nursing care at the same time.

If you’ve already had your care needs assessment, you can contact them afterwards and ask to be assessed for the NHS-funded nursing care separately.

Your nursing home’s local Clinical Commissioning Group, Health Board or Health and Social Care Trust is responsible for meeting the cost of care provided by registered nurses.

If you’re paying for your own care and would prefer that the Clinical Commissioning Group, Health Board or Health and Social Care Trust didn’t take on this responsibility, your wishes will be respected.

Does getting NHS-funded nursing care affect my other benefits?

NHS-funded nursing care will not affect your entitlement to other benefits.

However, in Scotland if you’re getting a personal care allowance, you won’t be entitled to Attendance Allowance or the care component of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment after the first 4 weeks.

What other NHS services are available in care homes?

Once you’ve been assessed, you might find you’re entitled to other help from the NHS.

This might include continence aids paid for by the NHS or specialist support or services such as:

  • chiropody
  • physiotherapy
  • pressure relief mattresses, and
  • mobility or communication aids.

More information on NHS funding in care homes and the Nursing Care Contribution

Download ‘NHS Funding for Nursing in Care Homes’ from the FirstStop Advice website.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.