Residential and nursing home care

There are two main types of care homes: residential and nursing.

  • Residential homes are for people who can no longer cope at home and need extra help, such as providing meals and personal care.
  • Nursing homes are for people whose illness or infirmity requires nursing care on a regular or daily basis, so they have qualified nurses on the premises.

Some care homes provide care both with and without nursing. These are known as 'dual-registered' homes. The advantage of these homes is that if your needs increase you can continue to receive the right level of care without having to move again.

Many residential and nursing homes can offer placements on a short-term basis, or placements for more long-term or permanent care.

All care homes are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). CQC regularly inspect homes to see if they meet the essential standards of quality and safety and publish what they find.

Will I have to pay?

The costs of residential homes vary, often depending on the type of facilities provided and the amount and type of care you need.

The amount you have to pay is determined through a financial assessment. You can now do your financial assessment online where you'll be able to see what you may have to pay towards your care and support. Any information you enter will not be sent to us, unless you choose to submit it.

If you are not eligible for financial support from your council, you can approach most homes directly to organise your own care.

There are two types of NHS nursing care with different eligibility:

  • NHS Continuing Healthcare - this is for people who have a primary health need
  • NHS Funded Nursing Care (FNC) - is for people who require registered nursing care, and is a NHS contribution to the cost of your nursing care in the nursing home.

If you would like more information on the differences between NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care see Continuing Healthcare ICS on Surrey Heartlands.


  • If you require nursing care, depending on eligibility, you may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare payments that are paid directly to nursing homes towards your nursing costs. Find out if you are eligible on our Continuing Healthcare page.
  • If you are moving to a nursing home you may be entitled to NHS Funded Nursing Care (FNC).
  • If you intend moving into a nursing home (and may be entitled to NHS Funded Nursing Care) please discuss this with the NHS professional responsible for your discharge from hospital.
  • If you are not in hospital please discuss this with the NHS professional involved in your care. More information can be found on the Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group about NHS Continuing Healthcare.

You can also visit our Paying for Care Services page for further information.

Choosing a care home

NHS - Care Homes is a national website which contains information and helpful hints on choosing a care home, types of care homes, and trial periods in care homes.

Search our online directory of care and support, Connect to Support Surrey for care homes near you, view their CQC rating, and access the inspection report.

Considering a care home?

If you, or a loved one, needs looking after 24 hours a day for your personal care or medical needs you, or they may be considering moving to a residential or nursing care home.

We've created some tips to help you prepare, know what to look for and what questions to ask. Being clear on expectations and understanding choices available to you will help you make the best decision for your long-term care and support or those of a loved one.

Live-in care

24-hour home care or 24hr live-in care means an external carer will move into the home of your loved one and care for them around the clock. The carer will be able to help with all activities and provide company throughout the day.

You can find out about the services on offer for live-in care in your local community through Connect to Support Surrey.

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