Car funding: clarification
I am writing to complain about misreporting of the nursing care home funding story in last week's Exmouth Journal (February 12). It is incorrect to suggest, as your newspaper did in the headline, that there is a funding threat for elderly care". The intr
I am writing to complain about misreporting of the nursing care home funding story in last week's Exmouth Journal (February 12).It is incorrect to suggest, as your newspaper did in the headline, that there is a "funding threat for elderly care".The introduction, "hundreds of elderly residents could see their care grants withdrawn after Devon Primary Care Trust revealed it faced....financial problems in funding its continuing NHS healthcare service" is also wrong.To be fair to your newspaper, the whole issue is a complicated one. I hope the following information helps to clarify matters and set the record straight.There is no funding problem over nursing home care payments in Devon. The issue, in the case of Mrs Prescott and other people in her position, is one of eligibility. Devon Primary Care Trust uses national criteria to assess people's eligibility to have their care paid for by the NHS.Every application is considered on its own merit with both health and social care representatives looking at each application to ensure decisions are fair and consistent.Having national criteria is meant to ensure that a patient in one part of the country can expect to be assessed for funding in the same way - and, crucially, according to the same rules - as someone in any other part of the country.Although costs exceeded expectations in 2008/09, this will not affect payments to people who meet the national criteria. A review of Devon Primary Care Trust's continuing healthcare funding assessment process is due to take place shortly, to be carried out by NHS SW, the strategic health authority for the South West.This will focus on how closely the primary care trust is applying national criteria to local applications.No new decisions to reduce continuing healthcare payments will be made until after the review has been completed. Where a patient no longer meets the criteria then financial assistance towards care costs may be available from the local authority. Patients being looked after in a care home may also qualify for financial help towards registered nursing costs from the NHS.Thank you for allowing me to make this clear.Dr Kevin Snee,Chief Executive,Devon Primary Care Trust.