How Much Do Care Homes Cost in the UK?
The cost of care homes in the UK differs widely from place to place, with families in the south paying nearly twice as much as their northern counterparts.
It’s always important to find out if you’re eligible for public funding from a Local Authority or NHS Continuing Healthcare. For details see Is Public Funding Available? or get in touch with our Care Home Solicitors for a free initial assessment.
Care Home Costs
Figures from Age UK show that in 2016-17, the average cost of fees in a London residential care home was £39,000 a year, while a London nursing home cost £50,000 a year. By contrast, the average cost of fees in a residential care home in North West England was £27,000 a year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, London was named as the most expensive place overall to obtain residential care, with a weighted average of £741 a week in 2016-17. This compares with £511 a week in the North West.
The figures highlight two clear patterns. Firstly, there are significant variations in the cost of residential care across the country, but secondly, that the expense is significant regardless of where you live.
So what factors beyond location are having an effect on care home costs?
Residential or Nursing Care Homes
Care home costs are heavily influenced by the type of care home you opt for and the type of support that needs to be offered. For instance, nursing care homes are staffed by registered nurses and specialist onsite care staff, and therefore tend to be more expensive than residential care homes.
The availability of suitable accommodation can also have a big impact on costs, as demand could be particularly high and supply limited in some parts of the country.
It goes without saying that paying for care home fees is an extremely difficult and worrying prospect for families, and this can have a huge impact on future planning. However, your Local Authority or the NHS may be able to help.
Is Public Funding Available?
It’s very important that in every case, consideration is given to whether or not funding from a Local Authority might be available. It’s commonly expected that funding for care is means-tested and so many people will not qualify, but the rules are complex and the individual’s circumstances must also be taken into account.
Another source of public funding is NHS Continuing Healthcare, which can be obtained if managing a person’s healthcare needs makes up most of their care requirements - and it exceeds what a Local Authority can be expected to manage. This option isn’t very well known but it is extremely valuable. But again, the eligibility criteria is complex and it’s not always consistently applied.
To find out whether or not you’re likely to be eligible for care funding support, get in touch with our Care Home Solicitors for a free initial assessment.
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