What's the cost of care in your area?

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As we live longer, many of us will need support in our old age. But few of us know how much an hour of homecare costs, or the fees charged in residential and nursing homes, and whether the local council will help foot the bill.

This guide can help you understand the social care system for people aged 65 and over, as well as the costs involved, wherever you live in the UK.

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Where did the data for the project come from?

A variety of different sources were used. In England NHS Digital supplied the data on council-funded care home and nursing home places. The United Kingdom Homecare Association, devolved governments and healthcare analysts LaingBuisson were the sources for some of the figures relating to self-funded care, while BBC freedom of information requests to local councils have been used to find a lot of the other data.

How accurate are the figures for home care?

The figures showing the number of hours of care and the cost of that care are averages. As such they can only give an indication of the hours of care available as individual circumstances will vary.

How accurate are the figures for residential care and nursing homes?

The figures showing a weekly breakdown for residential care and nursing home care are averages. As such they can only offer an indication of the costs people may face, as individual circumstances can be very different from the average findings for the group as a whole, particularly if someone has complex care needs or dementia.

How were those figures calculated?

The figures that offer a weekly cost breakdown for residential care and nursing home care for England are taken from NHS Digital. Data from freedom of information requests was used for the rest of the UK. For England, the total amount of money contributed by each council's population towards their care was calculated as a proportion of the total care budget. Once the proportion was worked out, it was then used to create a weekly figure in pounds and pence to show how much a council contributes to each person's cost of care compared with the contributions paid by the people using the service. This figure was based on the unit cost information supplied by each council to NHS Digital. The same method was used for the rest of the UK, but the data was sourced from individual councils through freedom of information requests.

Why are some of the figures missing for my area?

Data has not been available in full for all the council areas in the UK. This is because much of the data has been collected through freedom of information requests and not all councils were able to reply.


Produced by Alison Holt, Nick Triggle and John Walton. Design and development by Charlotte Thornton, Chris Ashton, Richard Bangay, Luke Ewer and Joe Reed. Freedom of information research by Katie Langton and George Greenwood.