In 2014-2015, the average weekly cost of a place in a residential home in England was around £587, and a place in a nursing home cost around £790. But these are only average figures, so you or your relative could be looking at considerably higher figures.

On this page we look at:

1. Highest and lowest care home fees
2. How much a self-funder might pay in care home fees
3. Local authority-funded care
4. The care cap as a part of the Care Act

Highest and lowest care home fees

Care home costs vary widely across the UK depending on where your relative lives and what type of care he or she requires. The fee your relative has to pay also depends on whether their room is a single or shared, and even what your relative's needs are. For example, a care home is quite likely to add to their average fee for someone who has dementia. As you might expect, the highest fee rates are in the south east of England and the lowest are in Northern Ireland and north east England

Research by Knight Frank for the 2014-15 financial year (2015 Care homes trading performance review) indicates that the average weekly fee for a nursing home in the south east is £893, whereas in the north east the average fee is £577. Taking the figures as a whole across the UK, the average weekly nursing home fee is £699.

Residential care home fees are consistently lower to match the lower level of care that is given. In 2014-15, the UK average weekly fee for a care home that provides personal care was £587.

The average care home costs across the UK

Here we show the average fees by region for privately and publicly-funded rooms combined, as researched by KnightFrank for their 2015 Care homes trading performance review.

RegionCost of nursing care/week   Cost of residential care/week
North east£577£505
North west£609£525
Yorkshire and the Humber  £601£532
East Midlands£646£567
West Midlands£705£578
East of England£735£612
South east£893£718
South west£800£698
Northern Ireland£582£584


If you aren't sure which region a county might be in, we have divided the counties in England into alphabetical order. Click through the boxes below to find the county on the left and region on the right.

How much might a self-funder pay in care home fees?

Armed with these average weekly figures, it's easy to see that someone who is paying all their own fees will quickly start amassing a sizeable bill. If your father lives in Northumberland and he is moving into a residential care home, the chances are he will be paying around £26,247 in fees each year. If he lives in Kent and is moving into a nursing home, the fees are likely to be in the region of £46,436 each year.

Then take into account that the average length of time that older people stay in a care home is a little over two-and-a-half years and the potential bill for funding for care in old age could be as much as a daunting £116,000.

Local authority-funded care

However, less than half of people in a care home (an estimated 44%) are fully self-funded, so don’t assume that your relative will be paying all his or her own fees. We explain when local authorities pay the fees for a care home and when the NHS might step in in Paying for care.

Get a Will from Which?

If you are involved with helping your relative manage his or her financial affairs, perhaps now is a good time to be thinking of making a will for yourself if you haven’t done so already. Make sure your treasured possessions go to the ones you love – see how we can help at Which? Wills.

See also Getting local authority funding for a care home where we explain the steps you need to take to get a financial assessment, the thresholds that are applied for local authority funding, and how capital and income are assessed.

The care cap as a part of the Care Act

On 1 April 2016 the government had planned to implement a cap on the amount of money everyone would pay for the cost of care over the course of their lifetime. This was set to be at £72,000. However, in July 2015 the government announced that the plans would be delayed to April 2020.

The cost of care therefore remains the responsibility of the local authorities for people whose income and assets are assessed as being beneath the threshold and those people who are self-funding a care home will continue to pay all their fees.

Downloadable guide

Helping loved ones in later life is an introduction to the different care choices that are available. Perhaps you are looking for ways to help a relative to stay living at home, or it could be that one (or both) of your parents or a partner want to move into somewhere offering sheltered or residential care. We explain the choices and how to find out more.

More information

Page last reviewed: 30 November 2015
Next review due: 28 February 2017