Care HomesNews

1-3 Care Home Residents ‘Self-Funding’ Care Prior to Pandemic says ONS

One-in three care home residents in England were paying for part or all of their care before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Office for national Statistics (ONS)

36.7% of care home residents were self-funding their care between 2019-20, equating to 143,774 residents contributing to, or funding entirely, their care, with 63.3% (248,153 residents) being state-funded.

It is the first time the ONS has published figures on self-funders in care homes, and will provide a pre-pandemic baseline for research.

The report revealed:

  • Between 2019 and 2020, 84.7% (391,927 of 462,460) of care home beds were occupied in England, and there were approximately 143,774 (36.7%) self-funded care home residents, compared with 248,153 (63.3%) state-funded care home residents.
  • The South East had the highest proportion of self-funders (45.4%) compared with the North East, which had the lowest (24.6%).
  • Care homes located in the least deprived areas had a statistically significantly higher proportion of self-funders (53.8%) than care homes in the most deprived areas (21.6%).
  • Smaller care homes, with 1 to 19 beds, had the lowest proportion of self-funders (15.1%), which is statistically significantly lower than all other care home sizes.
  • Care homes providing care for older people had the highest proportion of self-funders (49.6%); this was statistically significantly higher than care homes providing care for younger adults which had the lowest proportion of self-funders (4.8%).

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Today’s figures show the sheer scale of the number of people who are paying the astronomical costs of care. Almost 150,000 people are having to foot the bill, and homeowners, in high property value areas, are particularly affected.

“If you’re paying for care, finding the money to pay for this over the long term can cause real strain on family finances. While recent government announcements mean more people will get some help from the state, it won’t cover all the associated costs of care, so there will still be bills to pay. This help doesn’t start until April 2023 either, and if you already need care, or you need it between now and then, you won’t be entitled to this extra support from the state.”

Julie Stanborough, deputy director of health and life events at the ONS, said: “Today’s findings from experimental research show that in England, around 37% of care home residents paid towards the cost of their care, compared with 63% who were state funded.

“However, we saw geographic differences, with more residents self-funding their care in the South East.”