October 28, 2015

Families confronted with “postcode lottery” when it comes to care fees

New research by the consumer watchdog Which? recently revealed the gaping difference in funding in different parts of the UK.  A total of 190 Freedom of Information requests demonstrated that the arrangements put in place by local councils to cover care home fees varied wildly.

As a general rule, local authorities in London and the South of England offer more generous subsidies towards the costs of care than other parts of the UK.

Although Which? warned against making too many generalisations about the different regions, with their figures suggesting that councils in close proximity to one another may still take a very different approach.

This is highlighted by the huge variation in two neighbouring London boroughs.  In Bromley, the standard weekly rate is £555 – considerably more than the £417 available to residents across the boundary in Croydon.

The survey also showed that an increasing number of families are having to find money for top-up fees, with scarcely more than one in ten local authorities paying over £540 a week towards the cost.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “Understanding the options available for long-term care can be a minefield, particularly with such huge variations in the funding available.”

For advice on planning for care, please contact Tony Millson and Deanna Hurst in the Royds’ Private Client Team.

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