Fees & Funding > NHS Funded Nursing Care Explained

NHS Funded Nursing Care Explained

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Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

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.

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In this article:

  1. What is NHS-funded nursing care?
  2. How is NHS-funded nursing care different from NHS continuing healthcare?
  3. Who is eligible?
  4. How to apply
  5. NHS-funded nursing care rates 2024/2025

What Is NHS-Funded Nursing Care?

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:

How Is NHS-Funded Nursing Care Different From NHS Continuing Healthcare?

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.

We’re here to help you find the right nursing care home for you or your loved one. You can request a free list of nursing care homes from our care experts, who will then share homes matching your budget and location. You can also search for a nursing care home through our easy-to-use directory.

Who Is Eligible For NHS-Funded Nursing Care?

You could be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care if:

  • You’re in a care home that provides nursing care
  • You’ve been assessed as needing a registered nurse to care for you
  • You don’t qualify for NHS continuing healthcare

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.

How To Apply 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.

If your application is successful

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 your application isn’t successful

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.

Assessment letter graphic

NHS-Funded Nursing Care Rates 2024/2025

Here are the NHS-funded nursing care rates in each part of the UK:

  • England - £235.88 a week for the standard rate and £324.50 a week for the higher rate (2024/2025 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who pays for NHS-funded nursing care?

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.

Is NHS-funded nursing care backdated?

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.

How much is a nursing care home per week in the UK?

Our internal data shows that the average cost of nursing care in a care home in the UK is £1,025 per week. Nursing care homes are usually more expensive than residential care homes, as they provide daily care for residents with more complex medical conditions and needs.

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Written by our team of experts and designed to help families fund later life care in England.

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