Posted by Laura Sheath

How to Pay for Care Home Fees in Edinburgh

Sometimes, it’s possible to avoid care home costs in Scotland. This blog explains how and why, with information to help you whatever the outcome of your care home fee arrangement.

If you’re worried about paying for your care home fees in Edinburgh and you’d prefer to talk to someone, call Autumna on 01892 335 330 for guidance about where to find care within your budget and information on possible funding in your area.


Two retirees discuss their financial situation over the kitchen table

Do you pay care home fees in Edinburgh, Scotland?

If you’re planning on moving to a care home in Ediburgh, you'll likely have to make some contribution towards the fees. 

However, before you prepare to pay, it’s always worth checking whether you’re eligible for any financial help from the local authority in Edinburgh, which is The City of Edinburgh Council.

In some instances, they may pay for all of your care home fees, or, your nursing care fees.

How much will you have to pay towards your care home fees in Edinburgh?

The amount of contribution you have to make depends upon several things, such as how much capital you have and the care home you choose.

You can get local authority support from The City of Edinburgh Council for care home fees if you have capital under a certain limit.

How is income assessed for care home fees in Edinburgh?

From 8 April 2024, the capital limits are:

  • £21,500 for the lower limit
  • £35,000 for the upper limit

If your capital is below the lower limit, the City of Edinburgh Council will pay a standard rate towards your care home fees.

If you have capital above the upper limit, you must pay your care home fees unless you’re eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare.

What is classed as capital for care home fees?:

  • property
  • money held in bank or building society accounts
  • stocks and shares
  • premium bonds
  • cash
  • trusts
  • land

Can you get NHS fully funded care in Edinburgh?

NHS Continuing Healthcare is provided when a person has been assessed to have a primary health need. 

Defining primary needs is a bit more complicated and to do so, your local authority will need to arrange a Primary health needs test which considers four key characteristics rather than a specific diagnosis for an illness. 

Only one of these characteristics needs to be met for an individual to be eligible for CHC:

  • Nature
  • Intensity
  • Complexity
  • Unpredictability

If you have a primary health need and you’re eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC), the NHS will be responsible for providing all of your assessed health and social care needs, including accommodation, if that is part of the overall need.

How long does it take to get an assessment for a free care home in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh Council are under enormous pressure to provide primary needs assessments. 

Waiting times for assessment and arranging services are longer than Edinburgh Council’s target and this can be frustrating when you or someone you love needs a care home now. 

The local authority in Edinburgh is prioritising people who have critical or substantial needs, so if you need care urgently, contact them as soon as possible.

Declined for NHS CHC? Try NHS Funded-Nursing Care

If you don’t meet the criteria for NHS Continuing Healthcare, you may still be eligible for NHS Funded Nursing Care. This funding is paid directly to the care home provider and covers the cost of the nursing care specifically.

Usually, this type of local authority funding is given if you aren’t eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare but you have been assessed as needing care from a registered nurse.

What to do if you’re declined local authority funding for a care home in Edinburgh

A benefit of being a self-funding person (who pays for their own care fees) is that you don’t need to wait for your local authority to find you a suitable care home in Edinburgh.

By paying for your own care, you’re the customer and you’re entitled to search and compare care homes near you and decide for yourself which one is the best.

Understandably, paying for your care home fees is daunting as costs can be significant.

Do you need to sell your house to pay for care in Edinburgh?

If you are in a position where you've decided that a care home is the best option for you, and your council has determined that you have enough income, assets, or savings to cover the costs of care home, you might have to use your home to pay for it. 

There are different ways you can go about this. The most obvious one is to sell your home, but this can take time unless you can guarantee a sale price and sale date through a company like Spring.

In such cases, your council may initiate the 12-week disregard scheme where your property value will be ignored for the first 12 weeks while the council pays a higher percentage of your fees.

If you don't want to sell your property, you might consider equity release schemes or care fee annuity payments. However, these are complex financial products that use your home as insurance and loan you money, with the money being claimed back after you pass away by selling your property. 

Before considering either of these options, it's crucial to seek independent financial advice from an organisation like SOLLA (Society of Later Life Advisers). 

Autumna tip: If your partner or relative over the age of 60 still lives in the house, the council cannot include it as an asset. Additionally, if a family member has moved into your property to care for you and given up their own home, the City of Edinburgh Council may choose to disregard the value of your property.

How much does a care home cost in Edinburgh in 2024?

There are hundreds of care homes throughout Edinburgh and each provides a different service depending on what they offer, where they’re located and the facilities on site.


  Average Weekly Cost
  Average Monthly Cost
  Average Annual Cost
Residential care home cost in Edinburgh
£1410.15 £6,110.65 £73,327.80
Nursing care home costs in Edinburgh
£1,571.19 £6,808.47 £81,701.63
Dementia care home costs in Edinburgh
£1,471.50 £6,376.50 £76,518.00
Respite care home costs in Edinburgh
£1,393.87 N/A N/A

The data in the above table is based on available pricing on Autumna’s directory of care providers.

How do you find an affordable care home in Edinburgh?

Ask Autumna. You can search the UK’s largest directory of care services to find care homes, within your budget, that meet your needs. 

The simple filters make it easy to find the type of care that’s needed, in the right location and with the facilities that could make your life that little bit easier.

If you’d rather have the advice line team at Autumna find care homes in Edinburgh that fall within your budget, click here to request a shortlist.

It’s a free service and because we don’t take referral fees or commission payments from any care providers, our guidance is impartial and unbiased. That means you can trust Autumna to find you the best care home in Edinburgh for your specific needs.

Comparing your options is a great way to get a feel for what’s out there and if you do decide that you’re interested in any, we can arrange a visit on your behalf so that you can get a better sense of the community and care provided.

Useful resources if you need help paying for a care home in Edinburgh

Email: socialcaredirect@edinburgh.gov.uk

Telephone: 0131 200 2324

The City of Edinburgh Council’s opening hours are:

  • 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Thursday
  • 8.30am to 3.55pm on Fridays

People also ask

What happens if you can’t afford the care home fees in Edinburgh?

If you can't afford the care home fees in Edinburgh, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the local authority (The City of Edinburgh Council). This assistance can come in the form of a council-funded placement or financial support to help cover the cost of the care home fees.

However, eligibility for financial assistance depends on a number of factors, such as income and savings, and the level of care needed. It's best to contact the local council's social work department to discuss your options and find out what support might be available to you.

Who pays for palliative care in Edinburgh, Scotland?

Palliative care in Edinburgh, Scotland is primarily funded by the National Health Service (NHS) and the Scottish Government. In addition, some charities and hospices may also provide funding for palliative care services. It's worth noting that the availability and type of palliative care services may vary depending on individual circumstances and needs.

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