6 weeks free care

Hi, my mum is soon being discharged from hospital following a stroke but she is nowhere near recovered and has the start of dementia too. All the half decent care homes are demanding a ‘top up’ of around £200 for the 6 weeks supposedly free care following hospital. She does not have any money, only a house and they say we as a family have to pay this. No-one has been means tested. There are some that are totally free but they are not very good ratings. Any advice?

She will be assessed for continous care but we wont know for a few weeks yet.


As I understand it, the rules are that the NHS must pay for the full cost of the care they arrange, until after the CHC assessment is complete.

You need to get something in writing from the hospital.

To do this, you need to be a bit clever so they don’t realise what you are doing.
Write/email them to ask them " Further to my conversation with ??? please can you tell me where you are going to discharge mum, how much it will cost mum, and how much it will cost the family? Ask them for a written response so you can discuss it with family members."

Keep it as brief as that. Do NOT explain further. It is such an innocent request they won’t realise what you are up to.

Share the reply, and we can tell you what to do afterwards.

Ok, Im not sure which department to write to though, will it be discharges or the ward she was on?

Who gave you the information in the first place?
That’s who it needs to go.
You could always copy it to the Chief Exec of the Hospital, the Consultant, the Ward Sister, the Discharge Nurse.
Someone once said to me that it was always a good idea to copy any correspondence to the first person, to someone else.
Then there was evidence that it had been sent.
Doing this has helped me several times!!
(Keep a diary of who tells you what, where and when, from now on. It really helps.)
Also head your letter URGENT.

It seems to have been the social worker who has been giving all the information and she is a bit rubbish to be honest, says one thing then changes it!

It’s NOTHING to do with the social worker until the CHC Assessment process is complete!
That’s the rules, unless they have changed because of the virus.

Anyhow, send it to her and wait to see what response you get.
If she doesn’t put anything in writing, it’s your word against hers.
Exactly why you need it in writing, but do NOT tell her this at the moment!!

Shes sending me the figures in writing this afternoon. She says its a Discharge to Assessment Bed and my mum will be assessed further once shes in the home. She doesnt seem to think the Covid Discharge funding applies to Assessment beds?

That’s an “interesting” response. Has she written that you have to pay anything as a top up?

Finally got it in writing. My mums already in the care home though.

As it stands under discharge to assess pathway here’s what the local authority would pay and the client contribution which is expected for your reference

£580.09 local authority nursing rates
£183.96 from continuing healthcare nursing rates
Total £764.05

Total cost of the room is £1083.96

£1083.96 - £764.05 = £319.91 per week top up which family are expected to pay as a third party contribution

The family are not legally obliged to pay a penny. Any payments must come from mum, if she can’t afford it, then Social Services have to pay IF she has to pay anything at all as it’s a “Reablement Bed”.

DO NOT BE PRESSURED INTO SIGNING ANYTHING. The hospital put mum in a nursing home bed, and mum ended up being given a Notice to Quit by the home, so I paid on mum’s behalf as mum was worried, then I reclaimed back £8,000 from mum’s LA!

Mum would be entitled to 6 weeks free reablement care, at home. However, she isn’t at home, yet.

Because of covid, the rules may be a bit different from normal, so speak to the Carers UK helpline about this.