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Residential care homes or care homes with nursing offer short or long-term accommodation and care.
The GP, district nurse or key worker can arrange residential or nursing home care. The care available varies from one area to another and it may take some time to organise.
You may be able to claim NHS funding for the care that your relative or friend receives in a private residential or care home. Funding is given for care that is needed over an extended period of time due to an illness such as cancer. The care is often called continuing care or long-term care. Before funding is given, your relative or friend’s needs will be checked against a standard checklist. This can be done by a hospital doctor or nurse, the GP or community nurse, or a social worker.
If the initial assessment shows that your relative or friend has specific care needs, they will be referred for further assessment. An assessment is then carried out by a team of health and social care professionals using a decision support tool to decide whether they are entitled to funding for continuing care. The team includes a doctor, social worker or care manager, and a registered nurse. The social worker can give you more information about funding. You can also get more information from the NHS Choices website|.
If your relative or friend goes into a residential home or care home with nursing for respite care|, and they are expected to stay less than a few weeks, they may not need to have a full assessment. Funding will be granted due to the need for respite care, but will be means-tested and you may have to pay for some, or all of the care. You may be able to claim Income Support| towards the costs of your relative or friend’s stay. You may also be able to use direct payments to cover some of the costs. The social worker can give you more information.
If your relative or friend needs to go into a nursing home for respite care with nursing, the local health authority should pay.
The assessment and funding should happen automatically. You’ll be given information about the amount of funding that is being provided and how to request a review if you aren’t happy with it. Funding may vary depending on where you live.
If you don‘t want the NHS to be involved in the care of your relative or friend, you should tell the home coordinator.
Your relative or friend has the right to choose their care home, if they are able, but remember that finding the right place may take some time. The funding will be paid directly to the care home, although it may not cover all the costs. Funding for residential or nursing home care shouldn’t affect other benefits or allowances that are being paid. However, this may depend on the ill person’s circumstances. It’s a good idea to get information and advice from a social worker.
Lists of local registered care homes and details of registered nursing homes are available from your local social services department and your area health authority. You can get information about finding a nursing home and related issues to consider on the Nursing Home Fees Agency website|.
Content last reviewed: 1 March 2011
Next planned review: 2013
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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