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If you receive care and support in a nursing care home, you could be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care. Here, the NHS will pay towards your or your loved one’s nursing home fees. This money will usually be paid directly to the care home, rather than sent to you.
In this article, we’ve explained how NHS-funded nursing care works, whether you’re eligible, how to claim it and how much you could get.
Browse the best nursing care homes for your loved one.
NHS-funded nursing care pays for the nursing care given to people in a nursing care home. A registered nurse carries out this care and support, and it can also be known as a registered nursing care contribution.
This funding is a flat rate paid directly to your care home. While it covers the nursing element of care, it doesn’t include other care home costs such as food and accommodation.
NHS-funded nursing care isn’t means-tested, so you could be eligible regardless of how much you earn or the total value of your savings and assets. People who self-fund their care and people who have it paid for by their local authority are both eligible to receive NHS-funded nursing care.
NHS-funded nursing care differs slightly in each part of the UK:
Northern Ireland - It’s funded by the Health and Social Care Trusts
If you have long-term healthcare needs, you may qualify for NHS continuing healthcare.
To be eligible, you’ll need to be classed as having a ‘primary health need’, meaning your healthcare needs are also complex, unpredictable and require ongoing support.
If eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, your care costs will be fully paid for by the NHS, including any accommodation. In contrast, NHS-funded nursing care only goes towards the nursing care itself, rather than all of your care home fees.
If you don’t qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare, you could still be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care.
You could be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care if:
NHS-funded nursing care isn’t means-tested, meaning your income and savings aren’t factored into the decision and you can be eligible, regardless of whether you or your local authority is paying for your care.
If eligible, your care needs will be re-reviewed within the first three months of receiving your support package. After this, your needs will be re-reviewed at least once a year to check if the support you’re currently getting covers your needs.
If you’re hospitalised, start receiving NHS continuing healthcare or no longer require nursing care, you’ll no longer be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care.
You should first be assessed for NHS continuing healthcare. Your local integrated care board will give this assessment. Here, health and social care professionals will evaluate you or your loved one to determine eligibility.
If you aren’t eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, you may still be able to get NHS-funded nursing care.
We have an article explaining how the assessment process works for NHS continuing healthcare.
If eligible for NHS-funded nursing care after having an assessment, the NHS will arrange and fund nursing care provided by registered nurses within your care home. This funding will be directly sent to the home.
If you aren’t approved for NHS-funded nursing care and you disagree with the decision, you can ask your local integrated care board to review this decision.
Here are the NHS-funded nursing care rates in each part of the UK:
England - £219.71 a week for the standard rate and £302.25 a week for the higher rate* (2023/2024 rate)
Scotland - £104.90 a week for nursing care and/or £233.10 a week for personal care, for a possible maximum of £338 a week (2023/2024 rate)
Wales - £201.74 a week (2022/2023 rate)
Northern Ireland - £100 a week (2022/2023 rate)
*You’ll only get the higher rate in England if you received the higher rate in 2007 before the standard rate was introduced.
Lottie matches care seekers with the best nursing care homes for their needs. You can also request a free care home shortlist from our care experts, who will share homes matching your budget and location.
NHS-funded nursing care is paid for by the NHS to partially cover the cost of care provided in a nursing home. This payment is sent directly to the home, rather than to the person receiving care.
If you’ve previously self-funded nursing care without any financial assistance but are eligible for NHS-funded nursing care, you can request that your local integrated care board backdates the payment you should have received. They’ll then review this request and make a decision.
Written by our team of experts and designed to help families fund later life care in England.