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Fees & Funding > Care Home Average UK Costs & Fees Breakdown 2022

Care Home Average UK Costs & Fees Breakdown 2022

It’s true that care homes have a rep for being costly – in fact, 91% of UK Care Seekers think that care homes are expensive!

However, with 94% of Care Seekers also adding that care providers are not transparent with their pricing and a whopping 97% believing that their care homes unfairly charge additional fees, it’s clear that there is work to be done when it comes to open conversations about care home costs and what exactly they include.

If you’re just starting out on your care home journey, or you’re just after more information on what you might need to pay in the future, read on for our handy guide to care home fees.


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In this article on care home costs and fees:

  1. How much are care home fees in the UK?
  2. Average weekly and monthly costs
  3. Costs by care home type
  4. Costs by UK region
  5. Who pays for care home costs?
  6. Help with fees



How Much Are Care Home Fees in the UK?

The cost of a care home depends on what type of care home it is. For example, a residential care home offering basic care and support with daily activities like washing and dressing will cost less than a nursing home that employs specially trained nursing staff to provide medical care for certain health conditions.

You can also expect to see costs increase based on the facilities the home offers. Luxury care homes with a greater variety of facilities and activities for residents can afford to charge higher fees.

Care home costs also depend on whereabouts the home is located. In England for example, you’ll find that care homes are more expensive in London and its surrounding areas than care homes in the North East of England or large parts of Wales.


Average Annual Care Home Costs

Research from LaingBuisson showed that average care home fees in the UK range from £27,000 to £39,000 a year for residential care, increasing to £35,000 – £55,000 per year if nursing care is added to the mix. 

To give you a ballpark figure, in 2020, average residential care costs in the UK were £34,944 a year, increasing to over £48,720 a year for nursing care homes.   


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Weekly costs

The following table shows the average weekly care home costs for the different countries in the UK:

Country Weekly Cost of Residential Care Weekly Cost of Nursing Care
England £681 £979
Scotland £551 £706
Wales £607 £801
Northern Ireland £640 £858
UK £704 £888

Monthly costs

Meanwhile, here are the average care home costs throughout the UK on a monthly basis:

Country Monthly Cost of Residential Care Monthly Cost of Nursing Care
England £2,951 £4,242
Scotland £2,388 £3,059
Wales £2,630 £3,471
Northern Ireland £2,773 £3,718
UK £3,051 £3,848




Care Home Fee Breakdown

Care home fees can be broken down into numerous different categories, including meals, laundry, bills and care costs. Understanding this will give you a better idea of where your fees are going.


In the UK, a normal care home fee breakdown typically looks something like this:

  • 50% goes to staff costs

  • 30% is for EBITDARM (profits before tax and other deductions)

  • 5% is spent on food and beverages

  • 5% covers medical costs

  • 5% is for utilities 

  • 5% is for other costs (this includes admin, cleaning and laundry, insurance, repairs and maintenance, marketing and more)

When entering into a contract with your chosen care home, always ask for a clear breakdown of expected costs. Don’t forget to read the small print either – the last thing you want is to be landed with hidden fees or additional charges for services not included in your care package, such as day trips, hairdressing or visits from the GP.


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Residential Care Home Fees

Residential care costs typically cover a basic standard of care, from help with daily tasks like washing and dressing, to administering medication. 

The average weekly cost for a UK residential care home is around £704 and the average monthly cost is £2,816. However, you’ll find that costs vary greatly across countries and regions. 

For example, you can expect your weekly residential care costs to come in at around £546 in Northern Ireland, all the way up to £850 in Scotland.


Nursing Home Fees

The average weekly cost of a UK nursing home can be £800-900, while monthly nursing care costs can total an average of £3,552. 

This is because nursing care and its staff are more expensive to provide than standard residential care. 

Whereas elderly people in a residential care home may be able to live a mostly independent life with basic support, nursing home residents might struggle with daily life and have certain medical conditions that require regular treatment from experienced registered nurses.


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 care homes. 

This is partly due to the specialist staff that are needed to care for residents 24/7. Residents may also need to cover costs for special therapy equipment and more significant medical treatments. 

Currently, people with dementia in the UK have to fund the complete cost of their care – and annual dementia care costs can come in anywhere between £30,000 and £80,000.

Other types of medical conditions that tend to have more expensive treatment costs include cancer, mental illness, learning disabilities or physical disabilities. 

This is because some medical conditions can be complex and involve symptoms that need tailored support packages, which are often charged at a premium rate.


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. 

There are lots of different respite care options, as each case is unique and the best way to work out exactly what kind of respite care someone needs is through a means assessment. However, the average cost of respite care in the UK is £700-800 a week, although prices can increase to £1,500 in certain cases. 





Privately Funded Location Based Costs

The UK care home system is a bit of a postcode lottery – and some countries and regions are more expensive than others. Carterwood’s UK market reports on the average cost of care provides more of an idea of how much you can expect certain areas of the UK to cost in care home fees:

Area Residential care costs per week Nursing care costs per week
East Midlands £785 £1,048
East of England £943 £1,205
London £1,031 £1,271
North East England £733 £892
North West England £748 £1,055
Scotland £924 £1,069
South East England £1,066 £1,339
South West England £921 £1,196
Wales £745 £995
West Midlands £815 £1,133
Yorkshire & The Humber £733 £1,019
UK £860 £1,142




Who Pays for Care Home Costs?

When it comes to paying for care, you have several different options. If you have enough savings then you'll be classed as a self-funder and will be expected to fully fund your own care home costs. Alternatively, your local authority or council may be able to provide financial support towards care home fees, while friends and family can pay a top-up fee towards these costs. There are also two main forms of NHS funding for care homes: NHS continuing healthcare and NHS funded nursing care.


Self-funded

If you have enough savings, you will be classed as a self-funder and will be expected to fully fund your own care home costs.


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

  • Arrange and pay for care yourself, without involving the 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-funded

Your local authority or 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 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 care home costs 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 costs 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

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 needs.

You must undergo an assessment by a team of healthcare professionals to determine if they’re eligible. 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 cost of nursing or medical care 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 and it’s been decided that a registered nurse is needed to properly support you

The amount you or your loved one can get each week depends on whereabouts 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.


How Your Financial Situation Will Affect Costs

If you have an income, pension, benefits or savings, you may be able to afford care home costs on your own. As a rough estimate, in the UK if you have savings equal to or in excess of £23,250 you will qualify for self-funding, whereas this figure is closer to £28,750 in Scotland and £50,000 in Wales.


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If you have a figure of £14,250 to £23,250, 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 for your care home fees, but you will likely have to use most of your weekly income.

If you’re worrying about not having enough in your savings, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to decrease your care home costs, including certain financing options and benefits, such as Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Carer’s Allowance if you have a carer. To find out which benefits you may be eligible for, check out our guide here.


UK 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 £28,750 £18,000
Wales £50,000 N/A
Northern Ireland £23,250 £14,250

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





Help With 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 authority.

A needs assessment is usually followed by a financial assessment which decides whether your local authority should 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 assessments, 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 will depend on how much is in your savings and how you intend to pay for your care home costs 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 your home to help cover your care home fees. However, there are circumstances where the value of your house is not 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.





The Costs Seem a Lot – Do I Have to go into Care?

If you have been assessed as needing care but you would prefer to stay in your home for now, there may be alternative options for you. Live-in Care and personal care services are often cheaper and can help you or your loved one out with day-to-day tasks.


These include:

  • Assistance with washing and toileting
  • Help with getting dressed and brushing hair
  • Administering medication
  • Incontinence care
  • Help with cooking, cleaning, shopping and running errands

Live in Care is a preferable options for some people and their families. 





Summary

We hope you now have a good idea of what different care homes around the UK tend to cost. We understand that finances can be very stressful, which is why Lottie are here to help take the pressure off.

We have your back every step of the way when you’re choosing your care home and working out your potential care home costs.

We’ll make sure that you find a great care home to suit you, all at an affordable price for your budget. Contact one of Lottie’s care experts today to start your care home journey.

Article and Figures Last Updated: September 2022





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