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St Vincent's Nursing Home

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some typical questions that may help you in your quest to find a suitable home. If you require any further information, please contact us.

Where can I get information about paying for my care?
Will the local authority pay for care in my own home?
What benefits may be available?
Can you give me more information about paying for my care?
Are respite care and holiday breaks available?
What does it cost to stay at St Vincent’s?
What professional care is available at the home?

Also, to help in the process of choosing a care home, we have prepared a list of questions you should consider asking. Click here to view the list, you can also download these as a pdf file.

Where can I get information about paying for my care?

Paying for care is a complex subject and everyone's situation is different, and you will need to seek advice about your own particular case. Among the organisations offering specialist advice include charities such as Age UK (0800 169 6565) or Independent Age (0800 3196789), your local Social Services department, the Benefits Agency (0800 88 22 00), the Nursing Homes Fees Agency (0800 078 7430) and Eldercare Solutions Ltd (0800 082 1155). For further specialist advice please see our contact section.

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Will the local authority pay for care in my own home?

There is no simple answer. For care in a person's own home, each local authority makes its own decisions about charges. Some authorities do offer free services, but will assess your income and will charge you if your income is above a certain level. Contact the Older Persons Services department of your local Social Services for detailed advice.

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What benefits may be available?

Many people are hesitant about applying for benefits, but if you want to remain in your own home, they can be extremely useful to you and your carers. For example, Attendance Allowance does not depend on your savings or income, and could enable you to contribute to the petrol costs of a neighbour who does your shopping, or pay for a home help to do the tasks you can no longer manage. There are also benefits for people under 65, and for carers. For example a Carer’s Allowance may be payable to someone who is unable to work because they are caring for someone.

Everyone's situation is different, and you should get advice. Try Age UK (0800 169 6565), or the Benefits Agency (0800 88 22 00).

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Can you give me more information about paying for my care?

The information contained below is only a summary of what is a complex set of rules and cannot cover all circumstances. It is only intended to be a general guide to what help may be available financially. Circumstances vary from person to person and have to be assessed on an individual basis.

You are advised to contact:

  • your Local Authority social services department if you require any detailed information on their funding rules.
  • your social worker.
  • an independent Financial Advisor to seek their advice.

The financial rules and regulations which govern care funding are liable to change at least annually and the information contained herein is based on information available at the time of writing (Jun-13).

Needs assessment
If you are having difficulties in managing at home then in the first instance you should contact the Older People’s Services (or similarly named) team at your local authority and ask for an assessment of your needs. This assessment will identify whether you have eligible needs for services. Should the assessment identify that you have needs requiring 24-hour care then those needs will usually be met through residential or nursing home care.

The needs assessment is purely about the care you need and is not based on your finances. When your local authority assesses your needs they will be using their own rules to decide if you qualify for a “care home” place.

Each local authority will have differing amounts in their budget to fund care home places and they can decide how strict their rules are.

You can ask to have a written copy of their rules which are often referred to as ‘eligibility criteria’. If your local authority decides that you do not meet their criteria for a place in a care home they are not obliged to fund you, regardless of how much or how little money you have. However they may offer you another form of help such as domiciliary care (help with personal care at home), day care, meals, daily living equipment and sheltered housing, supported by services from the NHS such as district nurse, health visitor or chiropodist. If you disagree with any aspect of your local authority’s decision then you can use their complaints procedure and should request details from them on how to go about this.

If at the end of your ‘needs assessment’ the decision is reached that your needs can be best catered for in a care home then the next stage will be to determine what level of financial support, if any, your local authority can offer you.

Please bear in mind at this stage that residential or nursing care doesn’t suit everybody’s needs and you should therefore consider all options available to you before reaching the decision to opt for a care home. If you aren’t sure that St Vincent’s is the best place to cater for your needs then we suggest that you arrange a short term stay or trial period in the first instance. Remember that your social worker is there to support you and give you as much information as possible to help you.

Financial assessment
If following your ‘needs assessment’ the decision is made to seek a care home place for you then your local authority will assess your finances to decide if you are able to meet the full cost of the fees yourself. If you can they will probably expect you to arrange your own place in a care home. However if you are not able to manage this process or if you don’t have someone who can help you, your local authority will probably assist you with this procedure, but you will still have to pay the full fees yourself.

The rules for working out how much financial help you will get towards the cost of your fees are based on two things:

  • your personal resources (i.e. savings and capital).
  • your income (the money you have coming in each week).

When assessing your resources and income your local authority should only take into account those of yourself and not include those of your spouse or any other relative. Even if you are to live with your spouse in the same care home you must be assessed separately and the income and savings rules will apply to you individually and not as a couple.

Generally, in England, you are expected to pay privately for the full cost of your residential or nursing care if your assessed capital exceeds £23,250. When you own your house then the value of the property is normally included as capital. One notable exception to this is when your spouse continues to live in the house, then the value of your house will not be included in the assessment.

There is a sliding scale of contribution where your savings are between £14,250 and £23,250. For every £250 (or part thereof) that you have over £14,250, £1 per week will be subtracted from the money contributed by your local authority. If your total assessed capital is below £14,250 then your local authority may contribute to the cost of your care up to their maximum limit. Any amount of the St Vincent’s weekly fee that is above their maximum contribution will have to be met by a third party (usually known as top-up) contribution.

If your local authority agrees to contribute to the cost of your care then they may pay the full agreed fee directly to St. Vincent’s and any third party top up contribution to the fees would be payable directly to them. They may however require any third party contribution to be paid directly to St Vincent’s. Methods of working vary from one local authority to another.

If you do not qualify for financial support from social services then you may still however be entitled to either continuing NHS care or a Registered Nursing Care Contribution (RNCC) – see ‘services provided’.

Please note that although you may not qualify for local authority help on admission to a care home you may qualify once your level of savings and capital falls below the minimum level (currently £23,250 as detailed above). You are advised to contact your local authority as soon as your capital and savings falls below £30,000 (or is between £23,250 and £30,000 on admission) so that their assessment process can begin. Please be aware that if you approach them when your capital and savings have fallen below £23,250 then they are unlikely to be able to refund any retrospective entitlement to you.

Continuing NHS care
Some people with primarily health care needs may meet the criteria for all their care to be provided free by the NHS. This is not a means tested benefit but an entitlement. Whether or not you are entitled to this care will depend on the quality or quantity of health care needed. In most cases you will automatically be assessed for continuing NHS health care when you move into a care home that provides nursing care, or if you are being discharged from hospital.

Registered Nursing Care Contribution – RNCC
If you do not qualify for continuing NHS care then the nursing care element of your fees may be payable by the NHS. This nursing care payment is not a means tested benefit but an entitlement, so if you are assessed as being eligible for this payment it will be made regardless of your financial situation. If you are assessed as being entitled to this payment then it will be deducted from the amount payable by you to St Vincent’s. The amount of this benefit is currently £109.79 per week (April 2013).       

Additional benefits such as Attendance Allowance or Pension Credit
Self-funding residents, who are over 65-years-old on admission to a care home, can usually claim and receive Attendance Allowance whilst resident in the care home or continue to receive it if already in receipt before admission. The entitlement to Attendance Allowance is no different whether your admission arrangements have been made privately or with the help of a local authority. Attendance Allowance is not payable to people receiving NHS continuing care or to anyone receiving local authority financial support towards their care home fees. The Allowance will also cease after 28 days for anyone receiving it prior to becoming eligible for local authority financial support. People who are paying for their care under a deferred payment arrangement (see below) can still receive the allowance whilst any such arrangement continues.

Pension Credit may be payable to people who have savings but low weekly incomes. Pension Credit is basically a guaranteed minimum weekly pension payable to people who have reached the qualifying age.

Please contact the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) if you require further information or to apply for any of these benefits.

Deferred Payments Scheme
If you are responsible for meeting the full cost of your care and you own a property you may be eligible for the Deferred Payments Scheme (DPS).

This scheme is available from some local authorities to help people in certain circumstances. It applies to those who need to sell their home in order to finance, or continue to finance, their care home placement but haven’t yet done so, or those who would prefer not to have to sell their property during their lifetime. The conditions necessary are as follows:

  • You have insufficient income and other assets, other than the value of your house, to meet the full costs of your care, and...
  • You do not wish to sell your property or are unable to sell it quickly enough to meet the full cost of your care, and...
  • You have a beneficial interest in the property, and...
  • Either, the value of the property is sufficient, together with other income and assets, to meet the criteria for self-funding and there is no outstanding mortgage, or...
  • There is an outstanding mortgage on the property and the outstanding amount leaves sufficient value to meet the criteria for self-funding and you have sufficient resources to meet the mortgage payments as they fall.

If you are interested in such a scheme then you should contact social services in your area to see if they offer this scheme.

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Are respite care and holiday breaks available?

You might want to stay in a care home just for a short term stay, perhaps for a week or two. This may give you a respite period or your carer an opportunity to take a planned break. St Vincent’s Nursing Home has some rooms set aside for respite stays but availability is limited and you are advised to give as much notice as possible of any intended stay.

The home is set in a beautiful countryside location surrounded by Ruislip woods and beautiful landscaped gardens which make it an ideal destination for a short respite break.

If you are worried about whether living in a care home is the right choice for you for the longer term, you can often arrange a trial stay as a temporary resident to see how you get on.

Everyone deserves time out whether you are caring for a relative, are a professional carer, or are in need of permanent care yourself, taking a break from your usual routine can do wonders for you. Perhaps now is the time to think about the value of respite care.

As a carer you can relax, knowing that your relative, patient or friend is in a safe, welcoming environment with first class care tailored to their needs. A respite stay at St Vincent’s Nursing Home gives many people the opportunity to experience first rate service amongst friendly and welcoming staff and residents.

Respite stays are always short term. Having said that, the relationships they build between the Home and client give great reassurance to all concerned, especially if a longer stay ever becomes necessary. Respite care is also ideal for those who are well enough to leave hospital but not yet well enough to return home.

Our aim is to provide seamless continuity of care and our well-trained and qualified staff work hard to ensure that everyone’s personal desires and preferences are respected. You are most welcome to visit our home and experience our friendly hospitality for yourself.

In any event, prior to admission, you will need to meet the Matron or her deputy either in the convenience of your own home or at St Vincent’s. They can then assess your individual needs and tailor a care plan to suit you.

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What does it cost to stay at St Vincent’s?

St. Vincent’s gross fee rates, from 1 April 2018, are:

  • £1,165 per week for permanent care
  • £1,365 per week for respite care (minimum one week stay).

These are the gross fee rates and include any amounts payable by third parties towards the fee.

The fee includes accommodation, 24 hour care, all meals, a comprehensive activity programme and hotel and laundry services. Services charged as extras include hairdressing, personal newspapers, telephone calls and any non NHS services such as private physiotherapy, private dentistry or glasses.

Payment is usually due monthly in advance or at the start of a shorter period of stay.

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What professional care is available at the home?

The dedicated team of staff working at the home includes:

  • Matron
  • Deputy Matron
  • Wing Leaders
  • Registered Nurses
  • NVQ trained carers (level 2 & 3)
  • Activities organisers
  • Head housekeeper and a team of domestic staff including laundry
  • Chefs and catering assistants
  • Premises management team including gardeners
  • Reception and administration staff.

The home has a GP who visits on a weekly basis. Click here to view their website.

Furthermore specialists that visit the home include:

  • Hairdresser
  • Dietician
  • Physiotherapist
  • Dentist
  • Optician
  • Chiropodist
  • Pharmacist

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Here are some examples of questions you should think about asking before considering coming to St Vincent’s or any other nursing home.

Is the location right for your relatives and friends to visit?
Does the home offer the type of accommodation you want?
Does the room on offer have an en suite bathroom or shower with toilet and hand basin?
If not, is there a toilet/bathroom nearby?
Is the room spacious enough to have items such as a chair, table, or television in it?
Can you personalise the room with some of your own possessions, such as pictures or ornaments?
Is there a telephone in the room or can one be installed?

Does the home offer the following facilities:
A variety of communal areas e.g. lounges, quiet rooms, dining room(s), a hairdressing salon, any outside sitting areas?
Does the home have specialist baths with hoists, which is especially important if you need assistance with bathing?
Are there lift(s) to the upper floors?
Are the corridors and doors wide enough, especially for wheelchair access?
Is there easy access throughout the home for people in wheelchairs?
Are there plenty of handrails to assist with mobility?
Does the home have a well tended garden with nice outlooks from the lounges and bedrooms?

Does the atmosphere within the home feel right?:
Does the home have a welcoming feel when you enter?
Are the staff friendly and welcome you on arrival?
Does there seem to be sufficient staff on duty?
Are staff with the residents in the lounge areas?
Does the matron give you confidence?
Do staff interact well with residents e.g. show respect, knowledge of the residents?
Do the residents seem occupied, interested, and happy?
Are you encouraged to talk with residents/visiting relatives/staff?
Does the atmosphere feel homely?
Does the service seem acceptable?
Is the home odour free?
Is it clean?
Is there a menu on view with a variety of choices everyday?
Is there a regular activities programme?
Is there a laundry service included in the weekly fee?
Are pets welcome to visit residents in the home?

Does the home have ample important equipment such as:
Walking aids?
Special mattresses?
Pressure cushions?
Furniture suitable for older people?

Does the home have written down policies and procedures such as:
A resident guide?
A philosophy of care?
A quality checking system?
A residents’ group?
A relatives’ group?
A brochure that accurately reflects the home?
A clear statement as to what is included in the fee and what items are extras?
A complaints procedure?
A clearly defined contract between the home and the resident?

Can the home produce evidence of its standard of care?
Most homes will have easily accessible a copy of their latest inspection report. You are entitled to view this important document. All inspections have been carried out by and reports produced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). To view the most recent CQC inspection report for St Vincent’s, click the link:

Ask if the home undertakes any self regulatory inspections, such as annual satisfaction surveys, or visits by Trustees (if applicable)?

Download a pdf version of this list for printing out.

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‘I give the Home high praise for the ambiance it creates, for the happy and cheerful manner in which the staff go about their tasks. The rooms smell fresh and aired. The residents seem to be not just cared for but loved.’

‘St Vincent’s is a very unique place. We are delighted that our father is so happy and settled and receives such excellent care.’

For further comments about St Vincent’s Nursing Home, visit Comments and compliments.

St Vincent’s Charitable Trust in Pinner is an independent not for profit charity and provides residential and nursing care for the elderly.
Registered Charity Number (1014889).
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