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Monday, 27 June 2011

Care homes and hospital

You may decide that moving into a care home when you leave hospital is the right option for you. Your local council can help make the necessary arrangements.

If you're living in a care home, you may need to go into hospital at some point.

Going into a care home from hospital

If your circumstances have changed or if you are newly disabled - and you need support and perhaps nursing care - a move to a care home may be the answer.

A local council assessment will be needed to work out the support you may require. Hospital staff should be able to contact your local council and arrange an assessment for you.

You cannot be discharged from hospital into a care home against your will and you have the right to choose which care home you move into. Your local council can do a financial assessment and will help with fees if you do not have sufficient savings.

The care home you move into must meet your assessed needs. If your needs are complex or you need specific care related to your disability, illness or age this might take some time. Pressure should not be put on you to make your decision quickly.

You may be eligible for full National Health Service (NHS) continuing care funding if your medical needs meet your health authority's criteria. You can ask your council for a copy of these. If the NHS do fund your care then they will choose where the care is provided. They have to take your views into account.

Going into hospital if you live in a care home

It should be possible for you to keep your room while you are in hospital.

If your local council is helping to pay your fees they should inform you how long they will continue to pay for your room in the care home. As long as this is happening and your benefits are unaffected, you will be expected to pay your assessed contribution.

If you are self-funding, your care home will be able to tell you how they charge during hospital stays - this should also be in the agreed terms and conditions that you receive when you moved in.

Effect on benefits

If you live in a care home and you go into hospital, you should contact the office that normally pays your Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Attendance Allowance (AA). Payment of DLA or AA can normally continue if you are in hospital for less than 28 days but this is not the case if you go into hospital from a care home and payment of DLA or AA has already stopped.

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