Since devolution, the different countries of the UK have developed their own funding and charging arrangements for care services. The Care Act 2014 (England) and the equivalent Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 describe the respective systems for funding people’s care in England and Wales. Scotland has its own system based on free personal care with users contributing to accommodation costs when they move into a care home.

In England, the “capping” of individuals’ care costs, originally recommended by the Dilnot Commission (2011), have not been implemented. A White Paper on the future of social care is expected during the lifetime of the current parliament.

Both England and Wales Acts introduced a national minimum eligibility threshold, which clarifies when local authorities (LAs) have a statutory duty to provide or arrange funded social care and support for those in need. The thresholds are different between England and Wales.

In England and Wales, with some exceptions, all social care is means tested with LAs having some discretion about their charging policies.


Current funding arrangements will have been affected by the Covid-19 emergency, which has resulted in different levels of temporary support from the Government. Care providers might have needed to make adjustments to their fee structure and charging arrangements as a result.

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