The Department of Health has failed to confirm the rate it will pay care homes for Funded Nursing Care in the 2016-17 financial year that began on April 1.
Care England, an association that represents and lobbies on behalf of care home operators, points out that a rate increase has already been announced for Wales, but operators in England are still in the dark.
“In spite of a review having been delivered to the Department of Health and conducted to a very tight timescale that providers had to meet for the provision of information, the Department of Health has still not decided on the rate for this year,” says Professor Martin Green, OBE, CEO for Care England.
“This is causing distress to residents, and homes who cannot reconcile accounts, plan for future budgeting or inform their residents of the money they will be allocated to help meet nursing bills,” he adds.
Care England has worked closely with operators and the Department of Health to ensure the provision of Funded Nursing Care is transparent and predictable, and is furious that operators in England are still in the dark.
“Residents in England are being discriminated against whilst in Wales people know their rates. We are at a loss to understand the delay and it is symptomatic of residents and care home providers simply not getting the priority they deserve in our health and care system,” Mr Green says.
“In the current financial environment social care providers are working hard to deliver the best services to older and frail people and the Department of Health should not be making this job any more difficult. It is simply not acceptable,” he concludes.