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How much will it cost?

Care home fees will vary depending on the type of care the home delivers, and the geographical area the home is situated.  The average cost of a residential home can range between £600 - £900 per week, whereas the average cost for nursing homes can range between £900 - £1200 per week.  

What are my funding options?

Local council

In some circumstances your local council will pay some or all of the fees.  They will carry out a care needs assessment, followed by a financial assessment which will ‘means test’ your income and expenditure.  Care assessments are free, and can be asked for by anyone, local councils cannot refuse to complete an assessment because they do not think you will qualify.  

NHS Continuing Healthcare

Some individuals with complex health needs may be entitled to have their social care paid for by the NHS.   An initial assessment should be carried out by an appropriate healthcare professional such as your GP or community nurse.  If certain criteria are met, you will then be referred for a full assessment.  If an individual is deteriorating quickly or nearing the end of their life, there are fast track options which will usually provide a support package with 48 hours.   

NHS funded nursing care (FNC)

In some cases, the NHS will pay for the nursing aspect of your care home fee.  The individual must be assessed as having a nursing need and be living in a care home which provides nursing care.  Eligibility will be assessed by your local NHS continuing healthcare team and payments are made on a weekly basis directly to the nursing home.   These payments may not necessarily reduce your care home fee, moreover, are usually accounted for in the price you are quoted, check the small print.  

Top up fees

If the cost of your chosen care home is more expensive than your local council is willing to pay, you may be asked to pay a top-up fee.  Top up fees are voluntary and must be considered carefully, particularly if the fee is likely to increase annually.  If another person has agreed to pay the top up, for example a relative, this is often referred to as a 3rd party top up.

What happens if my funding changes during my stay?

If you are paying for your own care with your savings, and your money is running out, you will need to ask for a care needs assessment from your local council or an NHS continuing healthcare assessment.  If the council agree to pay a contribution towards the cost of your care, they may not cover all of the cost for the care home you are currently residing in.   It is important to ask these questions and check the contract with your chosen care home so you understand what may happen in these circumstances.  You may be asked to pay a top up fee, the care home may accept the lower local council rate, or you may be forced to look for cheaper accommodation.  




What if my needs change once I am there?

It is likely that over time, and possibly due to ill health or disease, your care needs will change.   For example, a residential home may be adequate now, but you may develop a complex health need that requires the support and monitoring of a nurse in the future.  You may have some short-term memory problems presently, but later develop complex mental health needs due to a dementia diagnoses which require a higher level of treatment and care.

It is important to discuss this issue with your chosen care provider, find out what care needs they currently accommodate, and the likely point where they may no longer be able to meet your needs.  If you are funding the care yourself, it is important to check your contract for cancellation terms and notice periods.  

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