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Data analysis by Legal & General Retirement has found significant discrepancies between care home fees across the UK, with a care home in Wales costing just over £600 and one in London costing over twice that at nearly £1,500.
The weekly average cost of private residential care in the UK is £848, with the most expensive areas being London, Windsor and Maidenhead and Elmbridge in Surrey, while the cheapest are situated in Stoke-on-Trent, Blackpool and Merthyr Tydfil.
Managing director of Health and Care, Legal & General Retail Retirement, Dr Sam Roberts, said:
“The reality is that there is no national system of long-term care. It is a complex process that can be very different for individuals based on a number of factors, such as their benefit entitlements or health needs.”
Chief executive of Key, an equity release adviser, Will Hale, voiced his fears that the discrepancies will be heightened by the financial pressure councils are under and pose a ‘massive challenge’ to individuals in need of care homes, and their families:
“This is an issue that is only going to be exacerbated by the huge financial pressure that local councils are under which is forcing them to make difficult choices around how much help they can provide with care costs. Our own data shows a 10 percent fall in the number of people receiving full or partial care funding from councils based on the most recently available Freedom of Information research we undertook.”
“When you add to this the fact that the vast majority of older people are less inclined than ever to want to go into a residential care home, you are left with a hugely-complex environment for individuals and their families to navigate.”