Sidmouth nursing homes' payment victory

PUBLISHED: 14:01 31 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:17 18 June 2010

NURSING homes in Sidmouth are to benefit from an overhaul in Devon Primary Care Trust s funding system. As previously reported in the Herald, Holmesley Nursing Home and residents of Sidmouth Nursing Home were owed thousands of pounds by the PCT because of

NURSING homes in Sidmouth are to benefit from an overhaul in Devon Primary Care Trust's funding system.

As previously reported in the Herald, Holmesley Nursing Home and residents of Sidmouth Nursing Home were owed thousands of pounds by the PCT because of a massive backlog in assessments for Funded Nursing Care (FNC).

FNC is a payment of £103.80 a week and is designed to pay for vital care which some nursing home residents may be entitled to.

In one case at Sidmouth Nursing Home, 94-year-old Evelyn Duncun, died in January without being paid any money despite being told she was eligible.

But now Evelyn's family have been reimbursed and the PCT has established a new method whereby nursing homes are paid on admission of a resident and, if they are deemed not eligible at a later date, the PCT will be refunded.

Paula McConnell, Evelyn's daughter, said: ""I am utterly delighted that the PCT have eventually seen sense about this because, although we could cope as a family, an awful lot of people can't.

"The most important thing is the nursing homes can afford to buy the care, which those people need, without going out of business."

Julie Casely, manager of Sidmouth Nursing Home, said: "In my view, this is very much in favour of our residents, who will no longer have to self fund the FNC element whilst waiting for the assessment.

"This decision will be particularly welcomed in view of current difficult economic conditions."

At Holmesley Nursing Home in February, 18 people were either awaiting assessment or a decision, but now the situation has improved.

A decision has been made regarding all of these residents, although the nursing home has not yet been reimbursed for the weeks or months they were waiting.

Steve barber, owner of Holmesley Nursing Home, said: "The idea is good- the fact they are trying to get payment moving a bit more quickly but if they just got the system to work properly in the first place there would be no need to introduce this extra piece of paperwork."

A spokesman for Devon PCT said: "As of today there are only seven people in the East Devon area waiting for assessment which, we feel, doesn't constitute a backlog.


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