Fees & Funding > Care Home Costs - Average UK Care Fees 2023

Care Home Costs - Average UK Care Fees 2023

Hannah Karim profile image
9/5/2022

In the UK, care home costs vary, based on the type of care required, the region you live in and any funding you’re entitled to.

Depending on your total assets, you may qualify for assistance to help with care home fees from your local council or through the NHS.

Here, we’ve shared the average cost of care homes across the UK for different types of care, and whether you will be eligible for funding support.


Article and Figures Last Updated: May 2023


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In this article:

  1. How much are care home fees in the UK?
  2. Average annual costs
  3. Costs by care home type
  4. Privately funded care home fees
  5. Cost of care in Scotland and Wales
  6. Who pays for care?
  7. Saving thresholds for care home fees
  8. Care home fees cap 2023
  9. Hidden fees
  10. Help with fees



How Much Are Care Home Fees in the UK?

Care home costs will vary, depending on the type of care they provide. For example, a residential care home offering support with day-to-day activities like washing and dressing will cost less than a nursing home that provides 24/7 support for all residents from specially-trained nursing staff.

Care costs will increase based on the facilities the home offers. Luxury care homes with a greater variety of facilities and activities for residents will usually charge higher fees.

The cost of care also depends on where the home is located. Generally, you’ll find that care homes are more expensive in some parts of England, including London and Kent.





Average Annual Care Home Costs

Region Residential Care Costs Per Week Nursing Care Costs Per Week Residential Dementia Care Costs Per Week Nursing Dementia Care Costs Per Week Respite Care Costs Per Week
East Midlands £839 £935 £859 £898 £864
East of England £929 £1,053 £972 £1,082 £960
England £926 £1,024 £954 £1,034 £971
London £1,118 £1,230 £1,165 £1,282 £1,191
North East England £830 £856 £843 £861 £852
North West England £836 £941 £864 £951 £909
South East England £1,040 £1,157 £1,078 £1,177 £1,099
South West England £1,015 £1,118 £1,047 £1,135 £1,061
West Midlands £901 £995 £914 £1,000 £943
Yorkshire and the Humber £830 £933 £844 £922 £861
UK £926 £1,024 £954 £1,034 £971

Here, our internal data has been combined with local authority funded fees to bring you care home costs throughout the UK.


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Residential care home fees

Residential care costs typically cover a basic standard of care, including help with daily tasks like washing, dressing and assisting residents with medication.

In the UK, the average weekly cost of residential care home fees is £926, while the average monthly cost is £4,013.


Nursing care home fees

Nursing care homes are generally more expensive, as they provide round-the-clock care for residents who may have complex health conditions. These types of care homes also provide personal care - but there will always be at least one qualified nurse on duty.

In the UK,the average weekly cost of nursing care home fees is £1,024, while the average monthly cost is £4,437.


Dementia care home fees

Care homes that provide specialist care, such as dementia care homes, will usually charge higher fees than both residential and nursing homes. Dementia can be complex and sometimes requires 24/7 care, and residents may need special therapy equipment to support them.

At the moment, people living with dementia in the UK have to fund the complete cost of their care, unless they have assets totalling less than £23,250.

Other types of specialist care that tend to have more expensive treatment costs include cancer, mental health, learning disabilities or physical disabilities. Some medical conditions can be complex and involve symptoms that need tailored support packages, which are often charged at a higher rate.

In the UK, the average weekly cost of residential dementia care home fees is £954, while the average monthly cost is £4,134.

In the UK, the average weekly cost of nursing dementia care home fees is £1,034, while the average monthly cost is £4,481.


Respite care home fees

Respite care homes offer short periods of care for someone whose carer is on holiday or cannot care for them due to an emergency.

If you’re looking for temporary support, the best way to calculate the cost of care is via a financial assessment.

In the UK, the average weekly cost of residential respite care home fees is £971, while the average monthly cost is £4,208.

Meanwhile, the average weekly cost of nursing respite care home fees is £1,074, while the average monthly cost is £4,564.





Paying For Private Care Across the UK

Below, we’ve provided the cost of privately funded care home fees throughout the different regions of the UK across residential, nursing, residential dementia, nursing dementia and residential respite care.

This information has been created using our own internal data, based on the care homes we list.

Region Residential Care Costs Per Week Nursing Care Costs Per Week Residential Dementia Care Costs Per Week Nursing Dementia Care Costs Per Week Respite Care Costs Per Week
East Midlands £1,060 £1,252 £1,102 £1,179 £1,112
East of England £1,221 £1,469 £1,307 £1,528 £1,283
England £1,189 £1,385 £1,245 £1,405 £1,279
London £1,423 £1,646 £1,516 £1,751 £1,569
North East England £1,037 £1,088 £1,063 £1,099 £1,081
North West England £1,104 £1,316 £1,162 £1,335 £1,251
Scotland £1,341 £1,443 £1,358 £1,410 £1,455
South East England £1,339 £1,573 £1,415 £1,613 £1,456
South West England £1,263 £1,468 £1,328 £1,503 £1,355
Wales £1,198 £1,456 £1,309 £1,585 £1,342
West Midlands £1,203 £1,391 £1,228 £1,401 £1,287
Yorkshire and the Humber £1,054 £1,261 £1,083 £1,238 £1,117
UK £1,237 £1,465 £1,299 £1,503 £1,340

Private nursing care tends to be the most expensive type, costing an average of £1,465 per week across the UK (or £6,348 per month), while personal care in a residential care home is the least expensive, costing an average of £1,237 per week across the UK (or £5,360 a month).

The most expensive region in the UK for private care home costs is London. Here, private residential care home fees cost an average of £1,423 per week, or £6,166 per month, while nursing home fees are an average of £1,646 per week, or £7,134 per month.

Meanwhile, the UK’s least expensive region for private care home fees is North East England. Here, private residential care home fees cost an average of £1,037 per week, or £4,492 per month, while nursing care home fees cost an average of £1,088 per week, or £4,714 per month.





Care Home Fees in Scotland

In Scotland, the average self-funded residential care fee is £1,341 per week and £5,812 per month, while the average self-funded nursing care fee is £1,443 per week and £6,254 per month.

In Scotland, everyone aged 65 or over - regardless of income and assets - receives free nursing and personal care support (up to a certain limit) if they’ve been assessed by their local authority as needing it. They will then have to contribute towards care home accommodation costs.


From 1st April 2022, the personal and nursing care payment rates are:

  • £212.85 a week for personal care
  • £95.80 a week for nursing care

If your capital is below the lower limit (£18,500), the state will pay up to the following amounts:

  • £832.10 a week for nursing care
  • £719.50 a week for residential care

While these are the maximum funding amounts, you may not be entitled to this much. The amount of funding you or your loved one receive will depend on the level of care needed and the fees charged by different care homes.





Care Home Fees in Wales

In Wales, the average self-funded residential care fee is £1,198 per week and £5,189, while the average self-funded nursing care fee is £1,456 per week and £6,308 per month.

Unlike other countries in the UK, Wales only has one threshold, rather than an upper and lower limit. This threshold is £50,000 (more on this later).

So, if you have less than £50,000 in capital and assets, you’ll likely be eligible for local authority funding. If you have over that amount, you’ll have to pay for care yourself.





Who Pays for Care Home Fees?

When it comes to paying for care, you have several different options.


Self-funded care

If you have enough savings, you will be classed as a self-funder. When self funding, you'll be expected to fully fund your own care.


To arrange care as a self-funder, you can:

  • Arrange and pay for care yourself, without involving your local council
  • Ask your local council to arrange and pay for care - the council will then bill you or your loved one (though not all councils offer this service and some may charge a fee)

Local authority funding

Your local authority or local council may be able to provide financial support with your care home fees. A friend or family can also offer to pay a top up fee towards the cost difference between homes, if your chosen care home is outside your budget.


To be eligible for local authority funding, the following assessments will need to be taken by the care seeker:

  • Care needs assessment – This will work out your care needs and the level of support required from a care home. Every care seeker has the right to a free care needs assessment. If you qualify for care funding then it’s the local authority’s legal duty to provide the appropriate care services

  • Financial assessment – A local authority will also carry out a financial assessment to see whether you can pay for care yourself or if funding is needed

If you're eligible for funding assistance, the local council will calculate the total cost of care and then use a means assessment to work out how much will need to be contributed. This amount must be enough to pay the fees for at least one suitable care home.

The council will also let you know how much they’ll contribute to the cost of care and will arrange a suitable residential or nursing home to meet your or your loved one's care needs.


Apply for a care needs assessment here.


NHS-funded care

There are two main types of NHS funding within care homes:


1. NHS continuing healthcare

If you've been assessed as having a ‘primary health need’ then NHS Continuing Healthcare provides a care package which is arranged and funded by the NHS. This package covers the full cost of care and residential accommodation.

This funding is available to adults in England who are living with intense, complex and unpredictable care needs.

You must complete an assessment by a team of healthcare professionals to determine if you’re eligible for NHS funded care - and this process can be complex. An organisation called Beacon gives free, independent advice on NHS Continuing Healthcare.

You can visit Beacon’s website or call their free helpline on 0345 548 0300.


2. NHS-funded nursing care

NHS-funded nursing care is provided by the NHS to cover the nursing or medical costs for those living in a care home or nursing home. This care is administered by a registered nurse.


You or your loved one may be eligible if:

  • You're in a care home which is registered to provide nursing care
  • You don’t qualify for NHS Continuing Healthcare
  • You've been assessed as needing a registered nurse to properly support your care needs

The amount you or your loved one can get each week will depend on where you live in the UK:

Region Rates of NHS-Funded Nursing Care
England £187.60 a week at the standard rate and £258.08 at the higher rate
Scotland £87.10 a week for nursing care and £193.50 a week for personal care - up to a total of £280.60 a week
Wales £179.97 a week
Northern Ireland £100 a week

You should be assessed for NHS Continuing Healthcare before a decision is made as to whether you’re eligible for NHS Funded Nursing Care.





What Are The 2023 Saving Thresholds For Care Home Fees?

Here are the UK saving thresholds for care home fees in 2022/23:

Country Upper Threshold Lower Threshold
England £23,250 £14,250
Scotland £29,750 £18,500
Wales £50,000 N/A
Northern Ireland £23,250 £14,250

If you have an income, pension, benefits or savings, you may be able to afford care on your own. In England and Northern Ireland, if you have savings equal to or in excess of £23,250, you’ll qualify for self-funding care, whereas this figure is £29,750 in Scotland and £50,000 in Wales.

Because there’s no lower limit in Wales, if your loved one’s savings and assets are worth less than the £50,000 upper capital limit, they’ll receive the maximum financial support from their local authority.

In England, if you have £14,250 to £23,250 in savings or assets, you’ll be able to partly contribute to your care fees, usually through your weekly income. You’ll also be required to pay an assumed extra income of £1 per week for every £250 of capital you have between these two figures.

If you have less than the lower threshold of £14,250, you won’t have to pay your own care fees, but you will likely have to use most of your weekly income from your pension, benefits or savings.

These thresholds are due to change in England in October 2023. Under the new system, only people with savings equal to or greater than £100,000 will qualify for self-funding care.

If you’re worried about not having enough in your savings, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to decrease care costs, including certain financing options and benefits, such as Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Carer’s Allowance if you have a carer.


We have a guide dedicated to Attendance Allowance pitfalls and mistakes to avoid when applying.


UK Saving Thresholds for 2022/23






Care Home Fees Cap 2023

From October 2023, the Government will introduce a new £86,000 cap on the amount people in England will need to spend on their personal care. This care cap aims to prevent people from having all their assets used up by care home costs.

When someone is above the savings threshold and self-funds their care, they won’t have to spend more than £86,000 on personal care across their lifetime.

The £86,000 fee cap covers residential care, nursing care and similar support. It also applies to domiciliary care. From october 2023, the social care charging reform means the Government will cover personal care costs beyond £86,000. However, this cap doesn’t include paying for accommodation, energy bills, food and other facilities within a care home. So, families or anybody else self-funding care will continue paying for these things past £86,000.

Put simply, the Government will cover any care-specific costs beyond £86,000, but not other costs such as accommodation and energy bills.


How are savings thresholds for care home fees changing?

Currently, only people with assets (including property) under £23,250 qualify for full financial support from their local authority. Under this new system starting in October 2023, the threshold will increase to £100,000 (so many more people will qualify for financial assistance).

  • People with assets and savings less than £20,000 won’t pay anything for their care
  • People with assets and savings between £20,000 and £100,000 may be eligible for some level of state-funded assistance with care costs. This assistance will be means-tested and regularly reviewed
  • People with assets and savings above £100,000 will be required to self-fund their care

How beneficial will the new care fees cap be?

For many people, if they aren’t eligible for local authority help (because their savings and assets are above the threshold), they’ll only have to cover the full cost of care until what they’ve paid goes over £86,000.

For example, if you were paying £2,000 a month for personal care in a care home, you’d hit the £86,000 cap within 43 months (or just under four years).





Hidden Care Home Fees

Most care homes are transparent about all their fees - including add-onds such as chiropody appointments. However, some providers may only choose to display the basic cost of a care home. That’s why it’s important to ask about any hidden fees when you visit a home. Some people may not become fully aware of all the costs until after they’ve signed their care home contract.


Hidden fees may include:

  • Transportation (such as to and from medical appointments)
  • Additional facilities and entertainment (this could be inside or outside of the home)
  • Other bills like Wi-Fi and contents insurance

We and our care homes are as transparent as possible with which fees are and aren’t included. For example, each of our care home listings states whether or not bills are included.





Help With Care Home Fees

Before you start paying, you’ll need to do a free care needs assessment. You can do one of these through the adult social services department of your local council or local authority.

A needs assessment is usually followed by a financial assessment which decides whether your local authority will help with paying for care fees. These assessments need to be arranged before you start looking for care homes, as this will ensure you receive any funding help you may be eligible for.

After the care needs and financial assessment, you or your loved one will be advised whether you need care or not and what funding you’re eligible for (if any).


Will I Have to Sell My Home to Pay For Care?

This depends on how much is in your savings and how you intend to pay for your care and fees.

When you apply for care, your means test will work out how much of your care you’re able to pay for and whether any financial assistance is needed.

You don’t have to sell your home if you’re receiving care and support at home or if you’re applying for short-term care. If you’re applying for permanent care, you won’t have to sell your house if it’s still occupied by a partner, or in certain circumstances, a child, a relative over the age of 60 or a relative who is classed as being disabled.

If there will be no one living in your home once you go into care, you may need to sell it to help cover your care home fees. However, there are circumstances where the value of your house isn’t included in the financial means test, such as the Equity Release scheme.


Equity Release

The Equity Release policy is for people over 55. It gives you a way to access the value tied up in a property and turn it into a cash lump sum, without having to sell your house.

There are plenty of online tools available that can help give you an idea of how much money you could receive from using this scheme.

However, be advised that Equity Release policies can be costly to get wrong, so we recommend you speak to a financial advisor before making any decisions.





Negotiating Care Home Fees

Rather than negotiating fees, some care home providers offer discounts for certain types of care, including respite care. Often, you'll find these at many new care homes.

For instance, Lovell Place in Bristol and Meryton Place near Bath are currently offering 2 weeks free after 6 months of residence, or £50 off if you book 3+ weeks of respite care.





Find Care Homes in Your Area

Use our handy care home search tool to find local care homes, or use one of the popular location links below to discover some fantastic care homes in your area:

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the average cost of a care home per week in the UK?

The average weekly cost of living in a residential care home in the UK is £926, while the average weekly cost of living in a nursing care home is £1,024 per week.

What’s included in care home fees?

Residents permanently live in a care home, so along with the cost of care, fees typically cover accommodation (your own bedroom), support with personal care, meals, housekeeping and a range of social activities. Care home fees will often include bills such as gas and electricity as well. Some facilities - such as beauty salons or on-site chiropodists - may be an additional charge on top of your standard weekly care home costs.

Are the first six weeks in a care home free?

If you live in England and received NHS continuing healthcare, you’ll be eligible for up to six weeks of free care after leaving the hospital. These six weeks of free care can be given in a care home or at home. The goal is to prevent you from having to go back to the hospital.

What does the £86,000 cap on care costs mean?

The Government has introduced an £86,000 cap on care. This cap is the maximum amount anybody in England will need to spend on their care. Even if you self-fund care, £86,000 will be the most you’ll spend on care across your lifetime.

This £86,000 cap includes residential, nursing and personal care, but doesn’t include things like food, accommodation and energy bills. This care cap is expected to be introduced in October 2025.

How much will the council pay towards a care home?

In England and Northern Ireland, if you have less than £23,250 in savings and assets, you may be eligible for your local council to pay towards some of your care costs. If you have less than £14,250, you’ll be eligible for maximum support.

Your local council will carry out a means test to determine your eligibility for help with these costs. If eligible, your council will then allocate a certain amount of funds towards your care. These funds must be high enough to cover the cost of at least one appropriate care home.

The maximum amount of support available may differ from council to council.

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