Elderly people moving into residential and nursing homes will
have a breathing space before they have to use their housing
capital to pay for residential care, the government has
The value of the home will be disregarded for up to three months
from admission to care from April 2001.
The government also announced that from October 2001 it would
cover the costs of care provided by a registered nurse to people in
residential and nursing homes. Nurses’ time spent supervising
or delegating care will be paid for by the NHS, but not care
provided by anyone who is not a registered nurse.
The costs of accommodation and personal care – everything
other than the costs of a registered nurse’s time –
will still be means tested.
The government’s response to the Royal Commission
estimates that this change will benefit about 35,000 people at any
one time, and "could save up to" £5000 on a year’s stay
in a nursing home.
The government also announced the residential allowance will be
scrapped from April 2002, and the resources will be transferred to
The allowance has been criticised for providing an incentive to
local authorities to place older people in private residential
People who have been in residential care since before the
Community Care reforms were introduced in 1993 – those on so
called "preserved rights" who depend on social security to fund
their care – will from April 2002 be subject to the same
local authority care management regime as people who entered
residential care since 1993.
There will also be a new grant to local authorities to enable
them to loan money to older people going into nursing or
residential care so they are not forced to sell their homes during
their lifetime. The loan would be recoverable when the property was
sold after the person’s death.