Fenella Morris QC and Benjamin Tankel save NHS £250 million per year: Court of Appeal judgment R(Forge Care Homes) v Cardiff and Vale University Health Board [2016] EWCA Civ 26

Fenella Morris QC and Benjamin Tankel save NHS £250 million per year: Court of Appeal judgment R(Forge Care Homes) v Cardiff and Vale University Health Board [2016] EWCA Civ 26


CategoryNews Author Fenella Morris QC, Benjamin Tankel Date

In a national-level dispute between local authorities and the NHS about who is responsible for funding social care in a care home when that care is delivered by a registered nurse, the Court of Appeal has reversed the judgment of Hickinbottom J at first instance and held that it is the responsibility of local authorities. The case has been estimated as being worth £250 million per annum across the UK and will be of interest to local authorities, CCGs, and central and devolved governments.

In practice, the Court of Appeal judgment means that:

  • It is for the NHS to decide what type of care does and does not need to be provided by a registered nurse, and only fund the former;
  • Local authorities and self-funders may need to pick up any shortfall where a nurse provides services that the NHS does not deem to be nursing care;
  • The Department of Health (which intervened in the Court of Appeal) is currently in the process of reconsidering the manner in which it calculates the FNC rate in England. The Court of Appeal’s judgment is bound to affect the shape of that reconsideration. Both NHS bodies and local authorities may wish to have a say in this ongoing process.

Fenella Morris QC and Benjamin Tankel of 39 Essex Chambers represented all seven NHS local health boards (the Welsh equivalent of CCGs), who were the successful appellants in the case.

They were instructed by Allan Wilson of Blake Morgan.

To read the full judgment, please click here.


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