Funding for nursing in care homes rises 11.5%

Care minister Gillian Keegan

Funding for nursing in care homes has risen by 11.5% for 2022-23, with an estimated £87m backdated for 2021-22, the government has announced.

The standard weekly rate per person, provided for NHS-funded nursing care, has increased from £187.60 to £209.19 and will be backdated to 1 April 2022. The retrospective Covid uplift provides additional payments of £21.93 per resident per week for 2021-22.

For those on the higher band the retrospective increase will mean an extra £30.17 per resident per week. The higher band rate for 2022-23, with the rise, will be £287.78 per week.

The money is paid by the NHS directly to care homes who employ registered nurses. This allows residents with specific healthcare needs to benefit from direct nursing care and services. Registered nurses provide support to individuals with a variety of needs, including people with learning disabilities, those living with enduring physical or mental health needs and various conditions associated with old age.

Minister for care Gillian Keegan said: ‘Increasing the weekly rate and the retrospective uplift reflects the cost of this vital work which is carried by our valued and skilled workforce to help those who need it.

‘It is right we continue to review the cost of this care to ensure nurses can continue providing excellent care and support the needs of their residents.’

Care bodies welcomed the uplift.

Professor Martin Green, Care England chief executive, said: ‘We commend the Department of Health and Social Care for recognising the cost increases faced by providers and the impact of the pandemic on our valued nurses. As we move forward, we must seek longer-term solutions to the national nursing shortage and the difficulties the sector has recruiting nurses and slowing the rates of attrition.’

Independent Care Group chair Mike Padgham

Independent Care Group chair Mike Padgham said the rise was an important step. ‘This is very welcome news and overdue recognition for our amazing nurses working in care settings. It paves the way for care providers to be better able to recognise the hard work our nurses do – not only during the pandemic but 24/7, 365 days a year,’ he said.

‘The government has acknowledged the extra mile nurses have gone during the pandemic.

‘Whilst today’s announcement is good news for nursing in social care it is only a first step and we must keep up the pressure for complete, root and branch funding reform of social care so that we can properly recognise, respect and reward not only nursing staff but all care staff working in social care settings,’ he added.