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Forward funding decisions – why the delay? asks Care England

April 4, 2019

Provider representative body Care England has voiced it members’ concerns about delays by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in announcing funding increases for care home residents.

The association says that, while April 1 marked the start of a new financial year, from which date many of the costs of daily life increase, for care providers and the people that they care for there was often silence from the NHS as to how these extra cost of caring, including increases in the National Minimum Wage, are going to be met.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green gave the example that all CCGs should have announced the new Continuing Healthcare (CHC) fee rates for care home residents who have a primary nursing need and are eligible for CHC funding.

“Increase or no increase, these rates should have been shared with care providers by now,” said Prof. Green.

“It is impossible to properly plan, and meet care needs without knowing what the funding will be. Care homes need to ensure their sustainability and the NHS must engage with providers early to identify costs of care and assure themselves that residents’ care needs are met.”

Care England said that, as of April 3, most CCGs had yet to announce how they will increase fees, leaving residents and providers in an invidious situation. NHS guidance showed that fees needed to reflect inflation 3.9%, move Quality (CQUIN) payments of 1.25% into base rates and offer an additional CQUIN 1.25% to providers for quality targets.

“Often providers find that CCGs haven’t even discussed or agreed CHC rates or CQUINs with providers by April,” said Prof. Green.

“This income cannot be recovered as time passes and is therefore retained by CCGs rather than paid to providers, yet providers need and want to fulfil their obligations to care. I would urge providers to look at Care England’s guidance on this matter”.

  • Guidance can be found at http://www.careengland.org.uk/news/cquin-and-nhs-inflation-201920-care-england-briefing

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