Planned care home closures
If the council is paying some or all your care home fees
The council must find another place for residents who are forced to move if a care home closes.
Before you move into a care home, the council should assess you to find out what your needs are and which qualify for support (your eligible needs). You should also have a care plan saying what type of accommodation is best for meeting those needs, for example, a care home or nursing home.
If your home is due to close, the council is still responsible for your care. They must review your care plan and find another home which meets your needs. The council must consider your mental wellbeing, such as the need to be close to friends and family, as well as your physical health. You can ask the council to involve someone else in this review too, such as a friend or relative.
You can also choose another care home yourself, as long as it suits your needs and doesn’t cost more than the council has agreed to spend. If you do choose a more expensive care home, you can ask someone else to top up the difference.
If you pay all of your care home fees
Start by checking the terms of your contract to see what it says about ending the agreement or ‘service interruptions.’
You are still entitled to a care needs assessment to help decide what type of care home may be most suitable for you. The council may then provide a list of other homes in the area, but you will usually be responsible for arranging to move to another care home, unless there is no one to help you.
Unplanned closures at short notice
It’s very rare that a major provider goes out of business, and it doesn’t automatically mean that all the care homes it runs will close. Sometimes their care services will be taken over by another provider and has little impact on the day-to-day care of the residents.
If a care home provider suddenly goes out of business, local councils have a temporary duty to meet the needs of all residents, whether you or the council are paying the fees.
This means that councils should make sure that the care of residents continues without any gap in services.
How they will help depends on your situation and if you have family or friends who can help you. It could mean they just give you information on other homes, or they may arrange another care home place. They should try to provide you with a similar service as far as possible.
If you’re getting NHS Continuing Healthcare – where the NHS pay for all your fees – then the NHS must arrange alternative accommodation for you.
Temporary care home closures
If your care home has to close temporarily – for example, because of an unforeseen absence of specialist staff – then the council may use their discretion to meet any urgent needs. Councils should consider each resident’s needs individually.