Nursing and residential homes

You may need a level of support that cannot be provided in your own home. In this case, a care home may be the ideal choice. Your local council’s social services department can provide information about what services are available and how to get them.

You have the right to choose your care home. Finding one that is right for you might take some time. You should make sure the care home you choose has the facilities, equipment and staff with the right training to meet your needs.

Each local council sets amounts that they normally pay for someone with your assessed needs. If you want to move into a care home that is more expensive, you may need to pay the difference.

You may choose to go into a care home (sometimes called residential home) if you can no longer manage in your own home. Services you should expect at a care home include:

  • meals and accommodation
  • help with personal care like bathing and dressing
  • staff available 24 hours a day
  • physical and emotional care
  • care through short illnesses

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Care homes with nursing

If you have a disability or illness that means you often need nursing care, then a care home with nursing might be more appropriate. This is sometimes called a nursing home. A qualified nurse will be on duty 24 hours a day.

You have the right to choose your care home but it must meet your needs. For example, if you need a care home with nursing – you may not be able to move into one that cannot provide nursing care.

You may qualify for full NHS funding of your care home. You will have to meet your health authority’s criteria. You can ask them for a copy of these.

Some people will have to contribute towards their care home fees. Your local council's social services department will work out how much you may have to pay by doing a financial assessment.

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Your financial assessment

Before you move into a care home, you’ll have a financial assessment with your local council's social services department. The council will look at your income and capital and decide how much you may have to pay towards your care home fees.

Examples of income include:

  • private and/or State Pension
  • some benefits like Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance or the care component of Disability Living Allowance

Your capital might include:

  • savings
  • investments
  • any property you might own (like your home or holiday home, for example)

Before your financial assessment, make sure you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to. This is important because your contribution to your care home fees will be worked out as if you’re receiving all relevant benefits.

No matter how much you have to pay towards your care home fees, you must be left with £22.30 a week to spend as you choose. If you get the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, you will keep getting it.

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Capital and the value of your home

If you live in England and have over £23,000 in capital you’ll be assessed as being able to meet the full cost of your care.

Your capital will be counted as generating an income according to the following table:

  • Over £23,250, you will be assessed as being able to meet the full cost of your care
  • Between £14,250 and £23,250 capital, between these amounts will be calculated as providing you with an income of £1 per week for every £250 of your savings
  • £14,250 or under, your capital will be ignored in calculating how much you have to contribute to the cost of your care

If you own your home then it will usually be counted as capital 12 weeks after you move permanently into a care home. The value of your home will not be counted as capital if certain close relatives still live there.

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Getting your needs assessed

Usually you will have a needs assessment before a financial assessment. Your local council's social services department will be able to tell you how much they usually pay for a care home that will meet your needs.

Social Services can then arrange a care home for you or you can choose one yourself. If you choose your own care home, then it must charges the same sort of price that the local council usually pay. This is important if you are paying your own fees to start with but think you might need to ask your council for help later on.

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Nursing care funded by the National Health Service

If you live in a care home that provides nursing care, the National Health Service (NHS) would normally contribute £108.70 per week towards the fees. This is to cover the cost of the nursing element. In Wales the NHS would normally contribute £120.55 per week towards nursing fees. Some people will have the full cost of their care paid for by the NHS; this is called ‘continuing health care’.

People who qualify for this type of care usually need ongoing specialist medical treatment on a regular basis.

Hospital staff, or your local doctor (GP), can help arrange an assessment if you think you qualify. If you disagree with the decision made after your assessment you can appeal. If you are assessed as needing some regular nursing care you may receive a contribution towards your care home fees from the NHS.

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Contact information

The GOV.UK website has further information.
The Housing Care website can help you locate residential and nursing homes in the Lichfield District.
Social Services Lichfield Lombard Court, Lombard Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6DY
Telephone: 0300 111 8010


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