Can I arrange nursing care at home?

Written by Zenya Smith09/04/24


Complex Care

Nursing care is provides care and treatment to people with complex medical conditions, but is it possible to receive it at home? We take a look at the options in this article. 

What is nursing care? 

Nursing care is specialist support that’s more complex in its nature than social care – which provides help with daily living. It’s for people with certain health care needs that require specialist clinical skills. Nursing care includes things like –

  • wound care 
  • administering intravenous medication 
  • ventilated care
  • catheter and stoma care
  • PEG feeding 

What’s the difference between a care home and a nursing home?

While care homes and nursing homes share some common characteristics – residents move into a private room in a specialist facility, and are supported by a staff of care workers, there are some big differences.

Nursing homes provide care for those with more acute needs. They are staffed with registered nurses as well as care support workers. Nursing care can usually provide things like intensive rehabilitation, stoma care, pain therapies and cancer care, and support with administering more complex medications and treatments. 

Find out more about the differences here. 

Can I arrange for nursing care to take place at home? 

Yes, there are a couple of ways to get nursing care at home. 

Arranging a private nurse-led care service at home

These home care services are provided by some managed care providers. A clinical team of nurses will assess your or your loved one’s needs and choose the highly skilled carers to deliver nursing care support. This will usually include things like continence care, PEG feeding assistance,  and nephrostomy care. The clinical team will then create a personalised care plan and closely monitor and direct how these carers provide this specialist care. 

The benefits of this type of nursing care at home is that older people can remain in comfortable and familiar surroundings, with very little disruption to their daily life. If they were to move into a residential home to receive this care they’d need to adapt to a new routine and face the upheaval of losing their own home. Carers also support with daily social care needs, such as preparing meals, personal hygiene, mobility, housekeeping and encouraging independence, to support a good quality of life.

However, because carers aren’t qualified nurses, there will be some tasks that they can’t do, which will still require a district nurse to visit and perform – such as administering controlled drugs or giving injections. It can also be an expensive option, as these qualified care assistants come at a premium to reflect the level of care they’re providing and the bespoke training they must go through. 

Arranging community nursing services 

This is also called district nursing, and is where a nurse pays home visits to patients in their care. These patients are often housebound, or would otherwise find it difficult to make it into their local GP surgery or medical centre. 

District / community nurses work closely with other health care professionals including carers, GPs, practice nurses, palliative care teams, hospices, social workers, dietitians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. They can support with a wide range of health needs, such as  – 

  • wound management

  • medicines management

  • end of life care

  • symptom control

  • help with ordering healthcare equipment 
  • bladder and continence care
  • IVs and injections 

Many people arrange live-in home care alongside community nursing services. This ensures there is someone available full-time to help with daily living tasks, as well as to raise the alarm and contact the right medical professionals in case of emergency. They can provide additional peace of mind to family caregivers who can’t be with their loved one 24/7. 

When might a person arrange nursing care at home? 

  • When they’re nearing the end of their life and would like to pass away in their own home, rather than a hospice or residential care home 
  • When they were unable to settle in a nursing home and home care was deemed the best solution for their quality of life 
  • When they’re housebound and need temporary rehabilitation support following an illness or injury
  • People living with neurological conditions such as Huntingtons, or long-term complex conditions such as cancer.

NHS-Funded nursing care

NHS-funded nursing care is when the NHS pays for the nursing care component of your care costs.

NHS-funded nursing care is only available if you’re living in a care home. If you need nursing care but are remaining in your own home, this will be provided free by the community nursing services. NHS funded nursing care is paid at a flat rate, and goes directly to the care home.

If you have more complex needs or are living with an on-going, chronic condition in your own home, you may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, which will cover your care costs in full. However, it’s worth noting that if your level of need is high enough to qualify, your home care options may be limited to managed service providers to ensure carers have standardised training and qualifications to meet advanced care needs.  


Read more about complex care

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