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19 Community care

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1. Introduction

2. Who decides what sort of care I need?

3. Who pays if I get care in my home?

4. How much will I have to pay?

5. What if I am coming out of hospital?

6. What happens if I need to move into a care home?

7. What if I need nursing care?

8. Will I have to sell my home?

9. What benefits may I claim?

10. What choice of home do I have?

If you need NHS continuing care, the NHS decides where you will go to get the medical care you need. However, your wishes should be taken into account as much aspossible.

If the council is paying for some or all of your care, you can, within certain limits, choose the home you want. However, if you are waiting to leave hospital to move into a home, and the one you want will have not have any places in the near future, you may have to go to another one until there is a place for you.

Once the council decides to help pay for your place in a home, it should tell you what it would normally expect to pay for a home that meets your needs (its 'standard rate'). This rate should be realistic. The council cannot say it will pay up to only £300 a week, for example, if that amount could not give you the kind of care you need in your area.

You should be given a list of homes in the area that are within the council's price range and have vacancies. However, you can choose any home (including one outside your council's area, for example if you want to be near your children), as long as it:

  • has a place available;
  • can meet your needs as they have been assessed; and
  • is willing to accept the council's terms and conditions (including, in general, the price).

If you cannot find a home that meets your needs within the price range, the council should increase its limit. If it won't, you may need to complain

11. What if I want to move to a care home that costs more than the council will pay?

12. What if my move into a home is temporary?

13. What rights do I have when I am in a care home?

14. What if I have difficulty getting the care I need?

15. Further Help

16. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC).  It was written in association with Sue Bloomfield, a freelance consumer affairs writer.

The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.

Leaflet Version: May 2019

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