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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?

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?

All care homes have to meet certain standards before they can be registered with the Commission - for Social Care Inspection (in England) or the Care Standards Inspectorate (in Wales). The government and Welsh Assembly lay down national standards setting out what you can expect from a home. These apply to any home no matter who is paying for your care.

Your home must produce a brochure with details of its facilities and fees, and a contract that sets out, for example:

  • the room you will live in;
  • the care and services you will get;
  • things not included in your fees; and
  • the notice period you must give if you want to leave.

If you arranged the care yourself, the contract is between you and the home, and you should be given a copy of the contract. If the council or the NHS arranged your care then the contract is with them. If you didn’t arrange the place yourself, you still have legal rights and you should be given a statement of the terms and conditions (which may be part of your care plan).

All registered homes must have a complaints procedure and should be able to give you information about how to complain. If you can’t sort out the matter with the home, you can contact the Commission for Social Care Inspection (in England) or the Care Standards Inspectorate (in Wales).

You can also use the local council and NHS complaints procedures to complain about the parts of care in the home that they arrange or pay for. For more about these procedures, see below.


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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