Residential and nursing care homes

Nursing care homes

Nursing homes provide nursing care for people over the age of 18 ho are no longer able to live independently in their own home due to physical disability, learning disability, mental illness, sight loss or hearing loss, who need on-going nursing care.

If you have a disability or illness that means you need regular nursing care, then a nursing home might be better for you than a residential care home. A qualified nurse will be on duty throughout the day and night. You will have your own room but the rest of the facilities are communal.

Sometimes nursing homes can offer short-term places for people recovering from a hospital stay or illness, or so their carer can take a break, if those needs cannot be met in the community.

Living in a nursing home

You would normally have your own bedroom, but other facilities such as bathrooms and living rooms are usually shared with the other residents. Nursing homes can differ from place to place, however, offering different services or types of accommodation – for example, with your own bathroom or living space. Hot meals are included and there is often entertainment during the day.

Nursing staff are on hand 24 hours a day to provide help with personal care such as getting in and out of bed, having a wash and using the toilet etc. They will take care of your medical needs such as:

  • administering medication
  • changing dressings
  • other support for your health that could not be provided safely by someone who isn't a medical professional

It's important to choose a home that feels comfortable to you, meets your current needs, and can meet your likely future needs so you won't have to move home again if your condition changes – go to choosing a care home.


The costs of nursing homes vary, depending on the type of home, the facilities they offer, and level of support you need. Some staff are qualified nurses, which means the charges are higher than in a residential home.

If you are assessed as needing to stay at a nursing home, help towards the cost will be provided in part by the NHS and in part by us.

Everyone assessed as needing a nursing home is entitled to a weekly contribution from the NHS, regardless of income or savings. The amount will be either:

  • £112 – standard rate
  • £154.14 – higher rate

This is paid directly to the nursing home as a contribution to the gross fee.

You may also be entitled to a contribution from us to cover some of the remaining cost. We will help you fill out a form to see if you qualify for financial help.

If you choose a home that charges more than the usual cost we agree, then your family or someone else will have to pay a top-up to cover the difference.