Prestige Nursing+Care: Real cost of fee cap for residential care is £134,159

  • North-South divide penalises north with differences of up to £16,500
  • Lower cost regions take longer to reach cap so pay more in accommodation costs

The real cost of care needed to trigger the £72,000 care cap is £134,159 according to research by homecare provider Prestige Nursing+Care. This is because accommodation costs and associated payments for food,  bills etc are barely covered under the government’s proposals, despite representing around 51% of the cost of residential care.*

The average cost of a room in a residential care home is currently £28,367 per year**, of which £13,900 (49%) is care costs. As the £72,000 cap only covers the care cost, it would take 5 years and 2 months to reach. In this period accommodation costs would have totaled £62,159.

A cap of £12,000 on “hotel” costs – covering accommodation– would still leave people liable to foot the majority of the bill.

North-South Divide

The analysis also found that the care cap will penalise those regions where care is cheaper, as they will take longer to reach the cap, and therefore spend longer paying accommodation costs.

In the North East, it will take care recipients six years to reach the cap, meaning they will incur costs of £143,555 – the highest of any region in the UK. The East Midlands and the North West make up the top three, while London and the South East are the cheapest two locations.

The Real Cost of Care by Region in England



Real Cost

Compared with National Average

Time taken to hit care cap

North East



Five years 350 days

East Midlands



Five years 343 days

North West



Five years 215 days

West Midlands



Five years 150 days

Yorkshire and the Humber



Five years 131 days

East of England



Four years 292 days

South West



Four years 252 days




Four years 241 days

South East



Four years 215 days

This is despite previous Prestige Research finding that councils in the south spend 6% more per person on care than councils in the north.

Jonathan Bruce, Managing Director of Prestige Nursing+Care said,

“The £72,000 cap is slightly misleading as the real cost of care to reach that cap is much higher. People thinking that care costs of £72,000 won’t lead to them having to sell their house may have to think again when they factor in the cost of accommodation which adds a lot onto this total. Lack of information is already a problem in the care industry, which means we must work all the more on transparency so people know what they may face.

“The north-south divide is surely an unforeseen consequence too but a significant one. The fact that the highest total costs for care will fall in the regions with the lowest incomes and the highest unemployment rates seems like a complete imbalance of the system. The government should look seriously at regional caps to avoid a situation where people in the poorest region are spending £17,000 more than those in the richest region.”


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