Funding future care is a subject which is becoming more topical every year. Between 2005/06 and 2014/15 the number of people aged 65 or over in England increased by almost a fifth and the number aged 85 and over rose by approaching a third.
It is important to know the different options and terminology.
An individual will be considered a “self-funder” if they have more than £23,250 of capital assets (not including property).
Local Authority funding
Currently, if an individual has assets of £23,250 or less then they will be entitled to some assistance from the Local Authority, which is assessed on an individual basis. If their assets are below £14,250 then they are entitled to be funded by the Local Authority entirely.
NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC)
It is important to note that this is a relatively short-term form of funding and is not funding for life. It also only covers the care home fees and nursing costs, not any additional costs such as hairdressing or chiropody.
A person will be assessed to establish if they have a ‘primary health care need’ or if their need is for social care. Therefore it depends on the severity of their medical condition as to whether or not they will be eligible to be fully funded in this way. If it is awarded, the NHS are not obligated to fund the ‘preferred’ care home of the individual or family members and may limit the award on offer and insist the funded individual receive care in a setting chosen by the NHS.
NHS CHC – Fast Track Pathway
This funding provides for individuals who require immediate access to a package of care due to a rapidly deteriorating condition that may be terminal. Funding must be provided if the form is properly completed by an appropriate clinician.
S117 Mental Health Act 1983 after care
This funding is available to individuals who have a history of involuntary admissions to a psychiatric hospital but is not provided for life.
Intermediate Care Package (IPC)
This is a range of short-term services which can be offered for a maximum of 6 weeks with the aim of establishing independence and allowing an individual to regain or retain the ability to live at home. It is not available to every person, as it is focused around an individual’s potential for recovery.
Funded Nursing Care (FNC)
The NHS is responsible for funding the cost of nursing care provided by a registered nurse in a nursing/care home registered to provide nursing care. An individual’s eligibility for CHC must first be considered before deciding that they qualify for FNC.
It is important to check care home contracts to confirm whether FNC is paid in addition to the full weekly rate of care fees, or whether the care home reduce the weekly rate to accommodate FNC.
Care fees funding is a complex area. Age UK provide a wealth of information on their website which is a useful starting point if you are unsure as to which funding to apply for.