08/10/2002

Health Act offers funding boost for nursing home residents

In what may be the last piece of legislation to be enacted by the present assembly, OAP's in nursing homes could see a £100 per week reduction in the costs of their care, according to the Health and Personal Social Services Act.

Under the Act, those currently resident in nursing homes and who fully or partly fund their own care will have an assessment of their need for nursing care carried out using a new assessment process commissioned by the Chief Nursing Officer.

The Health and Personal Social Services will contribute up to £100 per week towards the nursing care element of the total cost, reducing the overall cost at individual level for those people who pay all or a substantial part of the cost of their care in nursing homes.

Where a Trust is already contributing at least £100 per week towards the cost of a residents care no additional contribution will be made by the Trust.

Introducing the Act, Health Minister Bairbre de Brun said: “This brings real financial benefits to those people who have had to pay all or a substantial part of the cost of their care in nursing homes. Previously the cost of nursing care was included in the overall cost of a nursing home placement and borne by residents whose means were such that they funded, or part-funded, their own care.”

The Minister added: “Those people who received nursing care in their own home or through the community nursing service in a residential home have always received that nursing care free.

"Only in a nursing home, where the service is supplied as part of the overall cost of a nursing home place, did a resident have to pay for nursing care.

However, the Minister explained that people being cared for in care home settings would still be subject to a means assessment.

“An assessment of their ability to contribute to the costs of their personal care and the costs of their accommodation will remain. However, this new legislation removes the cost of nursing care from that assessment,” she said.

(GMcG)

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