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Residential and nursing care homes

Care and support to suit your needs

You should look at the different types of care and support available before you decide what would best suit your needs.

If you are thinking about moving into a care home and are eligible for help, you can contact us to talk it through.

We may be able to help you make a decision.

There are many different types of residential care homes. Consider whether you need nursing care or standard personal care.

Personal care might include help with 
  • eating
  • washing
  • dressing
  • going to the toilet
  • taking medication
  • Some care homes also offer social activities

Care homes with nursing care have registered nurses providing 24-hour nursing care and experienced care assistants providing personal care. They are often referred to as nursing homes.

They might specialise in certain types of disability or conditions such as dementia.

If you need care over a 24 hour period, which means that you need support both during the day and at night, it may be that your needs would be better met in a care home, this may be a residential or nursing care home. 

To work out what support you will need, you and/or your relative will have a conversation with a social care worker who can help you consider the options to have the support that you need.  The conversation might be virtual (over the internet), in your own home, in a care home or sometimes in hospital.  You will be fully involved in planning your care needs.

The purpose of this assessment is to:

  • ensure that if you are living in a care home, it is the right care home for you (this may be a residential or nursing home and may provide specialist care dependent on your diagnosis and needs for example if you have a diagnosis of dementia).
  • ensure your care and support needs are being met appropriately.
  • that you meet the eligibility criteria

If a care home providing nursing is the best solution for you, your allocated social care practitioner will give you information to help you find a home which meets your care requirements.

You can search for care homes by using Staffordshire Connects.

Probably. Your financial circumstances will be assessed to see how much you need to contribute towards the cost of your care. Further information is set out on our webpages. Some people have to pay the full cost of their care.

You can see if you are financially eligible by using our checker

If you are moving into residential care permanently and have capital (including property) or savings over the upper capital limit (£23,250) you will have to pay the full cost of your care. In this case you are called a self-funder.

The council will only fund residential care for assessed needs, so even if you are self-funding it is really important to get a Financial Assessment before choosing a care home to see how long you can support yourself financially.

However, it is possible that certain types of assets, savings or property could be disregarded and therefore it is in your best interests to ask for a financial assessment.

We can then advise you on your own particular circumstances. If we calculate that you can afford to pay for your care home fees yourself then you can make the arrangements with the care home of your choice directly.

Your social care practitioner can give you advice and guidance on choosing a home and support you in this process. It is important at this point that you think about how you will pay for your care home fees - good financial advice and planning is crucial. 

The process of finding a care home can take some time, and in some rare cases take several months.  As such, it is recommended you approach the council four months before your funds are likely to drop below the upper capital level (currently £23,250), when you will need funding assistance. Find out more about the process for arranging funding assistance from the council.


Before giving away any large gifts or property, or before putting your capital into a trust, you are advised to seek independent legal advice.

This is because the council may treat you as still having those funds, if the reason you gave them away was to avoid paying for care or reducing how much you pay for care. In addition, the council can ask the recipient of those funds to pay your care fees (but they will be limited to the amount they were gifted).




If you have been living in a care home, your savings will decrease quite rapidly. In time this could bring you below the upper capital limit, making you eligible for council funding.

You should inform the council of your situation at least four months before your savings drop to the upper capital limit of £23,250. We will then arrange to review your care and support needs and also carry out a financial assessment.

If you choose a care home that meets the care needs identified in your care plan, you are more likely to get funding should your financial situation changes in the future - without the upheaval of moving homes. Of course, your needs might change over time, so this is something to consider too.

If your current care home is more expensive than your personal budget, there is no guarantee that the council will pay the full weekly cost of your stay. Some homes are willing to accept your personal budget once your funds drop to £23,250 - the council will try and negotiate this with them. In some instances, a third party top up will need to be made towards your stay to cover the full cost (from a relative / friend). You are not allowed to pay your own third party top up.

If you receive nursing care the cost of this will be paid by the NHS to the care home directly.   The NHS nursing care payment is an amount set by the Government, but other costs will vary dependent on the care home charges.  What you will pay will be determined by your financial assessment and the charges that the care home makes.


Once the funding criteria is confirmed as being satisfied, the social care practitioner and the Brokerage Service will source a care home on your behalf and provide you with the available options.  Our finance team will use the financial assessment form previously completed to calculate your contribution towards these fees.

If we are paying some or all of the cost of your care, we will find at least one home that can meet your care needs.

We will contact all relevant care homes and share with you all who replied confirming they are able to meet your care needs. In certain cases, only one care home may be available.

We will establish a budget for your care home placement based on your care needs and the care home(s) able to meet those needs. This is known as your personal budget.

Once the council has contracted with the care home, we will usually pay them the full cost of the agreed care and support fee. We will then send you an invoice (four weekly) for your contribution towards the cost, and invoices for any top up amounts if applicable. The Council’s preference is that contribution(s) are collected by Direct Debit.

What if I wish to choose an alternative care home?

We will support placements in care homes as long as:

  • they can meet your eligible care needs and must have an assessed need for 24 hour care.
  • meet the required quality and regulatory standards
  • the care home is willing to enter into a contract with us
  • would not cost more your personal budget
We will want to know that you have someone that is willing and able to make the additional payments for the likely duration of the contract; this person is usually referred to as a 'Sponsor'. We will therefore want to assure ourselves that they can afford this and will ask them questions about their financial circumstances and ask them to sign a written agreement confirming they are willing and able to make the payments.  You are not allowed to pay your own third party top up.

The written agreement must include the following:

  • The amount of the top-up payment.
  • The amount of the person’s personal budget.
  • How often payments must be paid.
  • To whom the payments must be paid – this should normally be the council as they must have oversight of all top-up payment arrangements as they are ultimately responsible for the full cost of care should the top-up arrangement break down.
  • The consequences should you be unable to continue to make a payment - this could include moving the person receiving care.
  • The effect of any increases in charges made by the provider.
  • The effect of any changes in the financial circumstances of the person paying the top-up. Other information If you or your family have any other questions about your rights to choose accommodation please talk to your social care practitioner.

Information on paying for care is available on our funding the cost of care pages. 

If you wish to find out more about Top Up payments please talk to Staffordshire Cares 0300 111 8010.

The Care Quality Commission regulates registered care homes. They inspect homes to make sure they reach an approved standard.

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