Residential and nursing care homes

Paying a top-up

We encourage you to choose your own home – with support from your family – as it is a very important decision.

The costs of residential homes and nursing homes will vary depending on the type of home, the facilities they offer, and level of support you need.

You may be entitled to receive a financial contribution from us, or the NHS, or both. We will help you fill out a form to see if you qualify for financial help from us.

If you choose a home that charges more than the usual cost we agree, then your family, a friend or someone else – for example, a charity – will have to pay the difference. This difference is called a 'third party top-up'.

Third party top-up

Care Homes have the right to set a weekly fee that is higher the usual costs we agree. The care home can do this for business reasons or if they believe their accommodation is of a superior standard.

You can choose to live in a more expensive care home but only if your family, a friend or a charity is willing be the 'third party' and will pay a top-up to cover the extra charge.

The third party top-up is always be the difference between the care home's charges and our usual cost.

The third party must sign an agreement to say they are willing and able to meet the difference in cost, and will continue to do so throughout your stay in the care home

If the third party is unable to continue paying the difference, you may have to move – either to:

  • a more affordable room within the care home
  • a different care home with fees that are not higher than the usual cost that we pay

We will increase our 'usual cost' from time to time but we cannot guarantee that you care home will increase its costs at the same rate.

You cannot pay the top-up from your own income or savings because these are taken into account when working out your weekly contribution to the cost.

Changes to your income, such as pension increases, will not change the third party top-up amount.