The NHS-funded nursing care rate 2018 to 2019 has been announced by the Department for Health and Social Care.
The standard rate for NHS-funded nursing care is being increased to £158.16 from 1st April 2018. This is an increase of 2% from the current rate of £155.05 and the Department says it reflects overall nursing wage pressures.
The higher rate of NHS-funded nursing care will also increase by 2% from the current rate of £213.32 to £217.59 per week for 2018 to 2019. This is only relevant for people who were already on the higher rate in 2007, when the single band was introduced.
Registered nursing care is funded by the NHS for eligible nursing home residents. These rates are based on the best evidence currently available to the Department of Health and Social Care on the costs of providing nursing care in the sector.
The Department of Health and Social Care has said that it will undertake a full cost study of the rate ahead of setting it for 2019 to 2020, and then at least every five years to ensure that it remains accurate.
Care England has expressed disappointment at the rate increase saying that it will not meet the huge pressure being felt in the nursing home sector.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England said, 'Whilst we recognise and welcome that this is an increase in the rate it does not address the current cost pressures for nursing in our sector. What we need to be clear on is that the cost of the rising dependency of nursing needs of residents exceeds the proposed rate rise. The shortage of nurses – over which we have no control – means that recruiting nurses is a costly challenge along with increasing agency costs associated with rising nurse vacancies.
'The cost of employing nurses is rising with auto pension enrolment and other staff costs – we need to retain our nurses and offer the best employment packages possible. This, linked with the rising number of nursing hours needed to meet care needs, mean that central Government is not supporting our sector sufficiently.'