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Playing a waiting game on nursing care legislation

I refer to the article in the August 3 edition of Money Marketing. I hope Roger is indeed correct in that premiums will reduce as a result of a need to cover off a smaller fee liability. However, I would suggest caution is required.

I do not believe anybody can, with certainty, identify from the Government&#39s definition of nursing care – “the costs of registered nurse time spent on providing, delegating or supervising care in any setting or of specialist equipment used by these nurses” – precisely what that will cover.

The Government suggests that savings will be up to £5,000, benefiting 35,000 people at any one time. How are costs to be measured? It seems inconceivable that administrative procedures will be established to analyse, record and pay on an individual basis.

More likely would seem to be the adoption of some form of averaging to arrive at a flat-rate weekly figure applicable to all those eligible, irrespective of the actual amount of nursing care received, perhaps taking the average difference in fees between nursing and residential homes, as sugg-ested in the royal comm-ission&#39s report.

But in such respect, why the need to describe savings as “up to”? Maybe to reflect the fact that the full savings, on whatever basis is determined, will be available only to those getting nil financial support from a local authority.

Everyone else will receive an amount decreased by the amount of weekly support from the local authority and, if greater than the weekly cost of their nursing care, zero.

Primary legislation will be required to introduce this measure and it will be there that all should be revealed. Until then, it is a case of wait and see.

Dick Walker, DW Associates,

By email

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