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Funding of Family Nursing and Home Care

30 September 2016

Health and Social Services (HSSD) would like to clarify its funding position with Family Nursing and Home Care (FNHC) following a recent media release by FNHC.

HSSD provides, and will continue to provide, FNHC with funding of more than £7million a year (over 80 per cent of its overall funding). A relatively small proportion of this relates to its home care service, which assists with medication and personal care as opposed to providing nursing care.

The introduction of the long-term care scheme in 2014 was intended to encourage Islanders with long-term care needs to stay in their own homes for as long as possible – this is what people told us they wanted.

The success of this approach has prompted a change in the market for home care and there are now more than 20 approved providers of home care services on the Island.

FNHC is the only home care provider on the Island that is subsidised by Health and Social Services, and this means that the rates they charge are well below market rates. In HSSD’s view, it is not fair to customers or other home care providers that FNHC is able to charge clients £11 an hour because of the subsidy from HSSD. Other providers have to charge the market rate without a subsidy, which is nearer to approximately £20 an hour.

HSSD has been engaged in discussions with FNHC about their home care provision for some time – it was first signalled in 2014 – and it is wrong to give the impression that this was a recent development on HSSD’s part.

By its own admission, FNHC is providing 30% less homecare in 2016 than in 2015, and therefore it does not require the same level of funding. The reduction in subsidy from HSSD has been staged over 2016 to enable FNHC to safely manage the transition.

In HSSD’s view, FNHC has found it difficult to come to terms with the new changes to the market, despite the fact that HSSD has regularly offered to provide assistance in reducing costs, improving sustainability and considering other options. Ultimately, decisions about the services it chooses to provide and its staffing arrangements are for FNHC.

HSSD has always been mindful of the effect an increase in FNHC rates might have on low income households using FNHC services. Support for anyone needing financial assistance with the cost of care – whichever approved provider is used – is already available through the long-term care scheme or the personal care components of Income Support. And in order to potentially increase the number of households that may be able to claim such assistance, the department is working on a new flexible personal care component with Social Security.

HSSD values the services that FNHC provides and will continue to work closely in partnership with FNHC to develop, for example, the rapid response and reablement service and sustained home visiting. The two organisations are also working well together to develop district nursing and health visiting, and FNHC is a key partner and heavily involved in the health and social care strategic developments such as sustainable primary care and the ‘out of hospital’ (community) services redesign, utilising investment from the 'Health and Social Services: a new way forward' proposition to the States that was adopted in September 2012.

Health and Social Services: a new way forward

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