Care home fees are not based on personal wealth

Published: 23/01/2015

One of the best things about living in the UK is our National Health Service, providing us with free health care regardless of our personal wealth or circumstance. But whilst the majority of UK residents know this, they are unaware this service can extend to elderly patients in residential and nursing care. Lee Baker, Head of the Care Home Fees department at Goldsmith Williams, explains:

“I was reading a recent article on the BBC about the proposed care home fees cap and one part really stuck out. It read:

'Currently anyone with assets of over £23,250 has to pay the full cost of their care.'

“When you see such a simple statement from such an authoritative source you obviously take it as read but, in practice, it is not as black and white as this. In fact such a sweeping, over generalised sentence could be the catalyst that prevents people from applying for funded care.

Care home fees are not based on personal wealth. Whether you pay for care or not depends on why care is required. If it is because of a social need then unfortunately you are unlikely to be eligible for funded care. However if care is required because of a primary health need then you could have your care paid for by the Clinical Commissioning Group regardless of how much money or assets you have.

“It frustrates and saddens me when I read an article such as the one of the BBC as I know it will only reaffirm people’s current misconceptions. Care does not come cheap; in some areas it can cost in excess of £800 a week so such a misunderstanding is a very expensive mistake to make.

“When a person is about to go into enter care, they should have an assessment. This will then determine whether they have a social or health need. In our experience however these assessments are not necessarily correct; we are helping people who have been rejected for funded care but could still in fact qualify. In other cases patients have not been assessed at all. In these instances we can arrange for an assessment to take place.

“I know I am repeating myself but given all the misleading information out there I think it’s warranted: care home fees are not based on personal wealth. Yes you may have to pay for care but please do not simply presume that is the case. If you are unsure in any way please contact us and we’ll review your case for free before advising you on what to do next.”

Content correct at time of publication

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