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How can it be lawful for care home fees to be paid by the person ?deprived of their liberty? Michael Kennedy and Bilkiss Bashir ?consider whether the state should pick up the tab

24 January 2012

Many people believe that a person in need of care from a nursing home should not have to pay for it: that should be the role of the state. However, there is a degree of acceptance that, owing to demographic changes and in view of the parlous state of UK plc, expecting the state to cover the majority of someone’s fees is not realistic.


There is settled law in relation to charging for care home accommodation (see the National Assistance Act 1948 (NAA)). The general rule is that accommodation in care homes is free only if the person is eligible for NHS-funded care or has, in the past, been detained under one of the sections of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), which triggers a right to aftercare under section 117 of that Act.


For all other people who are liable to pay for their care, there is a means test and we get into the territory of upper capital limits and property disregards.


New ground

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