Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Permanent Residential Care Charges (Adults)



This leaflet provides basic information about charging for permanent residential care.

The charging criteria is based on the guidelines given in the National Assistance Act 1948 (Assessment of Resources) and is updated on an annual basis.

In local authority managed homes, the authority must charge the full cost of providing the accommodation. Where the local authority is satisfied that a resident is unable to pay the full cost, a financial assessment must be completed on the service user’s ability to pay.

Since Community Care was introduced in April 1993, Local Authorities  have also become responsible for residential care costs in voluntary and private homes.

What is Residential Care?

Residential care is for people who cannot continue living in their own home, even with support from home care services.  You can stay in residential care for a short time (known as respite care), over a longer period or permanently. You would stay in a comfortable furnished room (in some places you could bring your own furniture with you) and staff are usually available 24 hours a day.

A residential care home normally provides accommodation, meals, and ‘personal care’. Personal care can include such things as assistance in getting up or going to bed, washing, dressing and using the toilet.

Respite Care Charges

With a few exceptions, all income and capital is taken into account in assessing an individual’s weekly charge. In every case the charge is calculated as follows:

(Total Weekly Income) less (financial commitments, personal allowance and savings credit) equals weekly assessed charge.

Value of Capital

If you have less than £16,250 capital, there will be no impact on weekly charge and will be assessed on your income solely.

If you have between £16,250 and £26,250 capital, for every £250 of capital over £16,250, £1 of notional weekly income will be assumed and added to your weekly income.

If you have more than £26,250, then the maximum charge is due. 

Anyone aged over 65 is entitled to free personal care of £171 per week.

Independent Care Homes

The assessed charge for service users is calculated as per OIC residential care homes.

The full charge for residential care in 2015-2016 is set as per the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA) guidelines. Over 65s are entitled to free personal care of £171 per week.

The full charge for nursing care in 2015-2016 is set as per CoSLA guidelines.

What happens to a service user’s property when they enter residential care on a permanent basis?

If the resident owns their home, the local authority will generally take the value into account when working out how much capital they have. However for the first 12 weeks following permanent admission, the value will be disregarded from the assessment of capital.

The property will also be disregarded if it is occupied in whole or part by:

  • Husband or wife, civil partner or unmarried partner.
  • Relative who is over 60.
  • Relative under 16 (if resident has to support them).
  • Relative who is incapacitated or disabled.
  • Divorced or estranged partner, who is a lone parent with a dependent child.

The term ‘relative’ is defined in Scottish Government Guidance.

The Local Authority may also decide to ignore the value of the house in other exceptional circumstances

Other Assets

These will be taken into account in line with regulations and according to each person’s individual circumstances.

This leaflet gives basic information only. The regulations are complex and apply in different ways to different people depending on their personal circumstances.

All charges are subject to financial assessment as described in this leaflet.

For more information contact: Joan Jones, Accounting Officer, Orkney Health and Care, Telephone: 01856873535, extension 2614.

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