Before you move into a care home, they must give you a contract describing:
- what the care home provides
- how much it costs
- your rights as a consumer
- the care home's complaints procedure
You can choose to contract directly with the care home for some or all of your fees using one of 3 contractual routes:
Route 1 – self-determined
This is when you pay privately for your care home fees – sometimes called self-funding. You can choose to contract privately with the care home for all your fees.
Route 2 – mutual
You may choose to have the local council contract with the care home for the free personal and nursing care part of your fees but make a contract privately for the rest of your fees.
Route 3 – integrated
You may choose to have the local council contract with the care home for all your fees.
Even if you're self-funded, you may choose to have the local council contract with the care home on your behalf so you're protected by the National Care Homes Contract.
This was developed to standardise terms and conditions and, as far as possible, the funding of placements in care homes for publicly-funded service users.
If your funding runs out, you might be able to stay in the same care home if your contract is under the National Care Homes Contract.
Read GOV.UK's Care homes market study
The payment of care home fees is a complex subject and depends on many things which are unique to you.
If you want detailed information or personal advice, ask an experienced independent adviser like:
Advice Direct Scotland – phone 0808 800 9060, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Age Scotland – its fact sheets have information on paying for care homes, or phone their helpline on 0800 12 44 222.
The information was last updated on: 14th October 2020