Local Authority and NHS Funding of Care

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Payment of care fees

The question of the payment of care fees is a common concern for most families faced with a situation where a family member needs to go into care.

Most people want to know:

  • How much it will cost.
  • Who has to pay for it?
  • Whether it affects the family home?
  • What can be done to protect the family wealth?

In short, most people over the age of eighteen will pay for some or all of their care, either because they have income to contribute towards the cost of their care or capital that can be used towards the payment of fees.

General position

The starting point is to assess the needs of the person going into care. Your Local Authority Social Services is responsible for organising this. Funding is only available where a need has been identified. If someone chooses to go into care because it is more convenient but not a necessity then it would have to be on the basis that they can fund the care themselves.

The second part of this procedure is a financial assessment. This is also carried out by the Local Authority. They will consider income, which is any money received on a regular basis such as pensions, benefits, and also capital which will include any savings, shares, investments and potentially the value of the person's home. For further information see Long Term Planning for Care.

NHS Funding of Care

People funded wholly in nursing homes by the health authority known as 'continuing care'

This is a package of care arranged and funded solely by NHS where a person's primary need is a health need. It can be provided in hospital or a persons own home or a care home setting. This is can be to meet a physical or a mental health need that has arisen as a result of a disability, accident or illness.

The criteria are set out in a National Framework for NHS continuing health care. There is a two stage assessment to see if someone qualifies. The First stage is an initial screening and the second stage is a more in-depth assessment involving different agencies to look at all aspects of someone's physical and mental health.

If you believe a family member should be in receipt of NHS continuing care, you can ask for an assessment and it is recommended that you ask for some literature to inform you of the process and to take part in the meetings.

People who receive a short stay in care for rehabilitation purposes known as 'intermediate care'

This basically covers the situation where someone may go into care to give their carer a break, often referred to as respite care. It also covers situations where someone may be in hospital on a rehabilitation ward trying to establish what type of care will be needed next depending upon what progress the patient can make.

People who have residential care provided for them as aftercare under S117 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

This occurs where someone has been sectioned under section 3 of the Mental Capacity Act 1983 in order to receive medical treatment and also includes specialist mental health nursing. In this situation local authorities have a duty to make arrangements for the continuing care and support of someone detained under this section. If the condition for which they have been sectioned for continues then funding to support the care should be available.

Should you require any further information we can refer you to a specialist organisation who can help you further. Please contact one of our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Solicitors.

22 Feb 2019

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