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2nd August 2017

Funded Nursing Care case – Supreme Court rules in favour of local authorities

The Supreme Court has today (August 2) ruled in favour of Welsh local authorities in the long-running legal dispute between councils and health boards over who pays for Funded Nursing Care in residential homes.

The NHS pays for people who need 24/7 nursing care, while those who do not qualify for nursing care are funded privately or by the council. But who should pay for those who need some, but not 24/7, nursing care by registered nurses was at the heart of the dispute.

The Supreme Court has now ruled the health boards misinterpreted the law and that the parties should renegotiate. 

Care Forum Wales has criticised the dispute, saying the row has meant independent care providers are owed £30m in unpaid fees.

A group of care home owners initially secured a judicial review which ruled in their favour. But the health boards won an appeal, which then went to the Supreme Court today.

Mario Kreft, chair of Care Forum Wales (pictured), said it was scandalous that care providers have had to endure the dispute (legal proceedings began in 2014) and that the nub of the case came to who should pay pay a £20 a week fee for nursing care provided by care homes.

He added: "It is a national scandal that we have had to endure this long and completely unnecessary legal dispute.

"Everybody is in total agreement that this money should be paid to care homes and it is, after all, taxpayers' money from the public purse.

"It really doesn't matter one jot to Mrs Jones, who needs publically funded nursing care, who is actually going to pay for that care. All that counts to her is that she receives the care that she needs."

Read more on this story and watch Mario Kreft's interview

Previous stories on the FNC dispute

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