FNHC’s Home Care Service to continue despite removal of funding from HSSD
Despite the withdrawal of funding from the States of Jersey’s Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) for its Home Care Service, Family Nursing & Home Care (FNHC) will continue to provide this service to Islanders.
HSSD has traditionally provided funding to FNHC to cover part of the running costs for the services that it commissions the organisation to provide, including home care. HSSD recently informed FNHC that it intends to make changes to the way FNHC is funded, including the withdrawal of all funding for the charity’s Home Care Service, which costs £1.9 million per year to run.
District Nursing and Child & Family services will likely be funded by HSSD on an activity basis for 2017, although this has yet to be confirmed, whilst funding for FNHC’s Home Care Service will be withdrawn in totality as it is no longer being commissioned by HSSD. The funding has already been reduced by roughly £430,000 in 2016 and is being removed completely with effect from 1st January 2017.
‘As a result of these changes, FNHC has been forced to re-evaluate how the charity delivers its Home Care Service. The organisation is taking steps to restructure its Home Care Service, which will remain on a not-for-profit basis. No longer being commissioned by HSSD will allow us to offer a greater range of Home Care Services whilst maintaining the assurance of FNHC’s highest standards of governance.
‘FNHC has been providing subsidised home care support to Islanders for 65 years, the last seven plus years of which has been through a service level agreement with HSSD. We believe it is vital to use this experience to continue providing the high quality integrated nursing and care services that Jersey needs today and in the future,’ said Julie Gafoor, chief executive of FNHC.
The removal of HSSD funding for Home Care means FNHC will no longer be able to provide the same level of service to clients at its historically low rate. A review of its charging structure is underway and clients will shortly be informed of the likely impact. To mitigate the impact on clients, and allow them time to prepare for the changes, a notice period will be given before the changes are implemented.
‘Some of our clients qualify for Long Term Care funding, and we continue to encourage all those who have not yet been assessed for eligibility to contact the Community and Social Services Department to arrange an assessment. We are concerned for those clients who fall short of the eligibility criteria for Long Term Care who may now find it difficult to afford the appropriate level of care now the safety cushion of a State supported community care offering has been removed. We have made representations to HSSD and have been assured that they are working with Social Security on some form of financial help for those clients who fall below the Long Term Care threshold and may struggle with care funding. As yet, no details have been announced which puts FNHC in some difficulty with funding already being withdrawn,’ added Mrs Gafoor.
In addition to fee changes, FNHC has also been forced to start the process of renegotiating the contracts of its Home Care, Support and other similarly qualified staff. The charity has entered a period of consultation with staff and their union representatives to ensure the best outcome for all parties.
‘Unfortunately we can no longer afford to offer the same benefits packages that the States of Jersey is in a position to offer its employees. Staff will be offered continued employment on a revised contract. Regrettably, this revised contract will be less generous in regard to Terms and Conditions of Employment and, therefore, to be fair to staff, redundancy terms will be offered as an alternative to the revised contract,’ said Mrs Gafoor.
The purpose of the Home Care Support Team is to help disabled or elderly people maintain their health, wellbeing and independence at home, including assistance with medication and personal care such as bathing or getting in and out of the bed or shower.
FNHC took on responsibility for Home Care Services in 1993 and has a long record of providing excellent care and support in the home. More than 200 clients currently benefit from the integrated services FNHC can provide through the District Nursing and Rapid Response & Re-ablement teams. The depth of experience and knowledge across FNHC combined with governance and training ensures that the best possible care is provided in a safe and caring environment.
FNHC will continue to rely on the kind support of Islanders, in order to continue to offer its comprehensive nursing services which include Home Care Services, District Nursing Services, Specialist Nursing, Rapid Response and Re-ablement, Palliative and End of Life Care, Health Visiting, Children’s and School Nursing and Child Accident Prevention.