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Securing Funding for Home Care Services in the UK. Finding Ways to Make Home Care Services More Affordable and Within Reach?

Securing Funding for Home Care Services in the UK. Finding Ways to Make Home Care Services More Affordable and Within Reach?

Content writer at HTR Care

Written byHTR Care, Content Writer

Updated at:

Tue Jan 16 2024

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Imagine this: You've landed on the perfect home care service for your family, but the cost is a constant concern. Every day, you begin with the determination to ensure the well-being of your ageing loved ones, despite the challenges that financial concerns may bring.


In an ideal world, you'd never have to choose between quality care and your finances. Can you put a price on the comfort and well-being of your loved ones? I think not.


What if I told you that securing funding for home care services is a lot easier than you might think? Fear not, for we understand the daily struggles that weigh heavy on your heart. In this blog, we've created the perfect guide that will lift the financial burdens you carry, making life easier for you and your ageing loved ones.


1. Self-Funding

Self-funding offers control and flexibility in choosing the right care for your loved one. You have the power to decide the level of care, ensuring it aligns perfectly with your expectations. A major advantage of self-funding is the speed of access; you can swiftly arrange the care your loved one needs.


Personalisation is a key perk. You have a direct say in the selection of caregivers, allowing you to choose someone who matches your loved one's personality and preferences. On the flip side, cost is a significant consideration. Expenses vary based on the required level of care. To avoid unforeseen strain, essential financial planning is a must.


Using your savings for care can affect your long-term financial security. While self-funding provides immediate control, it's wise to explore alternative funding sources such as insurance or government benefits. Long-term planning is critical.


Assess whether your savings can sustain home care costs and consult a financial advisor to align your financial planning with the expected care duration. Self-funding empowers you with independence and control in the realm of home care. Understanding the pros and cons and taking proactive steps ensures informed decisions on your loved one's care journey.


2. Personal Budget

A personal budget is an allocation of funds from the local authority, provided to individuals based on their care needs assessment. This budget can cover either full or partial funding, depending on the assessment results.


Personal budgets empower individuals to take control of their care journey, offering more flexibility and freedom in comparison to direct organization through the local authority. This aligns with the government's 'Personalisation Agenda' (a policy initiative aimed at empowering individuals to have more control and choice over their social care and support services), and is something social workers should recommend during assessments.


If you're seeking high-quality, private care at home, it's important to note that this may not always be readily available through the local authority. This is where a personal budget can make a significant difference, granting you the opportunity to access services that might not be presented as choices by the local authority.


To make the most of a personal budget, it's essential to engage with the assessment process and communicate your specific care needs. This ensures you receive the support and services that best fit your requirements.


3. Direct Payments:

Direct payments provide a valuable funding choice for those who have been allocated a personal budget. Once your budget is determined by the local authority, you have the option to receive part or all of this allocation as direct payments.


These payments can either be transferred directly to the person in need of care or managed by a trusted third party, providing you with greater control over how care needs are met and expanding your choices in selecting service providers.


Direct payments offer a degree of independence that can be empowering. You can allocate these funds to services that best meet your loved one's needs, ensuring a more personalised and tailored approach to care.


The process typically involves setting up a separate bank account to manage these payments, allowing for a transparent record of how the funds are used.


4. NHS Healthcare Funding:

To access NHS funding, often referred to as Continuing Healthcare funding, you can initiate a request through social services via a home assessment conducted by a social worker. This assessment helps determine eligibility for care and support following a hospital visit.


If your loved one is found eligible for NHS funding, the NHS discharge team and other healthcare professionals will ensure that support services, home adaptations, and equipment are prepared for a safe return home.


In cases where home adaptations or equipment cannot be swiftly sourced, a short stay in an intermediate care facility might be necessary. Importantly, home adaptations and equipment costing less than £1,000 are typically provided free of charge by the NHS.

This means testing does not apply to NHS continuing healthcare funding, making it a means of covering the full cost of at-home care without considering financial resources.


5. Local Authority Funding:

Should you recognise the need for extra support due to challenges with daily tasks, you can initiate a care needs assessment, often through your GP or district nurse? It's important to note that these assessments are conducted free of charge, regardless of income and savings.

Once a local authority completes a needs assessment and identifies eligible care needs at home, they will subsequently carry out a 'means test' to evaluate available funding and the individual's contribution.

It's worth mentioning that this means the test should not take into consideration the value of an individual's property unless they are entering residential care. To explore the most suitable option within local authority funding, it's advisable to work closely with your local authority and understand the assessment and means testing process.


6. Attendance Allowance:

Attendance allowance is a non-means-tested benefit aimed at assisting individuals with the additional costs of care and support. The great advantage is that it is not a requirement for an individual to have a caregiver to claim this benefit.


It's offered at two different rates, with one being higher than the other, depending on the level of care needs. While attendance allowance doesn't cover mobility needs, it can certainly help cover or contribute to the costs of at-home care and support.


Applying for this allowance involves a straightforward process, often requiring medical evidence and assessments to determine the level of support required.