Funded Nursing Care Supreme Court ruling will help steer future of health and social care in Wales

Vanessa Young, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation

The Welsh NHS Confederation, on behalf of Health Boards in Wales, accepts the final ruling of the Supreme Court in relation to Funded Nursing Care (FNC).  The Health Boards and the Local Authorities involved in the case will now, together with support from the Welsh Government, consider the Court’s ruling on this complex matter.

The Judgment follows a four year legal dispute around Funded Nursing Care, which refers to the NHS contribution towards the total cost of care of individuals in care homes, representing the input of Registered Nurses. This is paid as a single flat rate across Wales for every person assessed as requiring a nursing placement within a care home. The case centred on clarifying the meaning of the wording of S49(2) of the Health and Social Care Act 2001, having implications for Health Boards, Local Authorities and care home residents in Wales who fund or contribute to the cost of their care.

The case has always highlighted the importance of the NHS and Local Government working together and today’s ruling will help steer both Local Government and Health Boards as they work together in partnership to deliver the requirement for pooled care home commissioning budgets arising out of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.

Vanessa Young, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said: 

“We would like to reassure those who receive care and their relatives, that the high level of care being delivered across Wales will not be affected by the legal result.

“The Judgment today is the conclusion of a long and complex legal case, which was instigated by a legal challenge from the care sector.  It has never been about winners or losers, but about seeking clarity on complex points of law and how they apply to the funding arrangements for those receiving nursing care in a care home setting.  

“The outcome reflects the complexity of the case and the need for all parties to work together to agree the balance of responsibility for funding care in what is essentially a grey area of the law.

“Now it is time to look to the future, working closely with our partners in local government to deliver a long term vision of integrated and sustainable health and social care in Wales.”

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