Care fees are often a great concern for our clients and we can assist you by planning in advance for your future needs.
Whether you need to move to a care home, or just need a little more support at your own home, it's likely that you'll have to pay for care fees. The amount you'll pay depends on the 'care assessment', which looks at the services you'll require, followed by a financial 'means test' which will look at your capital and income.
Those who have been prudent, or fortunate, enough to have built up some capital (including the value tied up in the house) will find themselves paying the fees of the residential home whilst others are funded by the local authority. Guidelines as to the application of the means test are set out in the Charging for Residential Accommodation Guide which may be found on the Department of Health website
Early advice and planning may help to ensure that the impact of the means assessment is no greater than it need be.
For residents needing personal care, the question of funding presents greater complexities. Under s 49 Heath and Social Care Act 2001, the NHS became responsible for providing nursing care (free): Local authorities were relieved of the burden of nursing care obligation but continued to have responsibility for social care (means tested).
The National Framework for NHS Continuing Heathcare and NHS funded Nursing Care came into effect in October 2007. Under the provisions of the framework the person is assessed for eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare: if the person qualifies, then the costs of providing an appropriate package of care are funded by the NHS. Otherwise, there is an assessment as to whether there is a need for care from a registered nurse and whether those needs are best met in a care home. In those circumstances, the person would receive a payment for NHS funded nursing care. Whereas previously there were 3 bands of NHS funded nursing care, a single rate has now been introduced.
The outcome of the assessment process can have a very substantial financial impact both for the person concerned and for the NHS. It is hardly surprising that decisions lead to dispute and challenge. It is often worth taking matters further because of the substantial sums involved – especially where the requirement is likely to exist over a long period of time.