How is Complex Care funded?

How Complex Care is funded in the UK:

Complex care plays a vital role in helping those with chronic or long-term health conditions who may need additional support in their daily lives. Complex care conditions include airway and respiratory conditions, neurological conditions, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, learning disabilities, and more.

A complex care patient recieving support from a loved one

But how is it funded?

Complex care in the UK, provided in the local community is funded through a combination of public and private sources. These include:

NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC):

Some with long-term complex health needs qualify for free health and social care arranged and funded entirely by the NHS.

For those with complex health requirements that need ongoing care outside of hospital settings, NHS CHC may be available to them. CHC funding covers the full cost of healthcare needs, including complex care trained staff, therapy services, and medical equipment, provided in community settings such as care homes or the individual’s own home.

To receive this funding, the person must be assessed by their local CHC Team to determine whether this is a ‘primary health need’. The nature, intensity, complexity, and unpredictability of the assessed needs will indicate the level of funding support that is required.

Social Care Funding from Local Authorities: 

Social care needs, such as assistance with daily living activities, housing support, and community-based services, are funded by the 152 local UK authorities. This funding is provided through social care budgets managed by local councils. Individuals assessed as having eligible social care needs may receive funding to cover the cost of their care services provided in the community. Social care is funded through a grant from the central government via the Department of Levelling Up and local revenue-raising measures, such as council tax. The local NHS must also transfer a set amount to a local authority via the Better Care Fund.

Personal Health Budgets (PHB) and Direct Payments:

Some receiving complex care in the community may be eligible for PHBs or direct payments. These schemes allow them more control over how their care and support are arranged and provided. Personal budgets are allocated by local authorities/councils or the NHS to pay towards social care and support from approved providers, and can be managed in one of three ways:

Notional Budget: Held by the NHS, the individual will be informed how much money is available. Together with the NHS team, they will decide how the money is best spent.

Third-party Budget: An independent organisation or trust holds and manages the budget on behalf of the individual.

Direct Payment: Money is directly sent to the individual, their representative or an organisation they’ve chosen to manage their health budget. They are then responsible for paying for the care and support agreed upon with the NHS. 

Enabling people to choose how they receive their care gives them a sense of independence and autonomy over their health and care needs. By having a personal health budget, they will take more responsibility for how their care is delivered, which can offer more flexibility in the structure and delivery of care, but also places an emphasis on the individual to ensure sufficient training and best practice is maintained, and appropriate contingency plans are in place to ensure they remain safe. If an individual contracts staff directly, they must follow UK employment law and ensure arrangements are in place to pay staff appropriately and make any provision for statutory contributions and holiday pay.

Means-Tested Support: 

Those with complex care requirements who have limited finances may be eligible for means-tested support to help cover the cost of care in the community. This support may include benefits such as Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, or Personal Independence Payment, which can contribute towards the cost of care and support services.

A means test looks at someone’s regular income (earnings, benefits, pensions) and their capital (cash savings, investments, land and property) to assess if the council will pay towards their care. Currently, in England, your local council can help pay for care costs if you have savings of less than £23,250, rising up to £100,000 of savings in October 2025. 

Support from Charities and Volunteers:

The voluntary sector plays a vital role in providing complex care services in the community. These organisations offer various support services, including administration care work, day centres, support groups, and befriending services, often funded through donations, grants, or fundraising activities.

Charities that support complex care include Age UK, Carers Trust, Community Integrated Care, and many others. Through their excellent and selfless work, many who would have never had complex care support can live happier, more fulfilled lives.

Private Funding and Self-Funding:

Individuals and their families may choose to fund complex care services in their local community privately. This may involve paying for care services directly from their own finances or using private insurance policies to cover the cost of care.

According to the Homecare Association, the new calculation for the Minimum Price of Homecare in England is £28.53 per hour, effective April 2024, when the UK’s statutory National Living Wage increases.

You can find the full document outlining Minimum Costs for Homecare here


The majority of complex care in the UK is paid for through public funding, including NHS and social care funding, means-tested support, personal health budgets, charitable support, and private funding options. The specific funding sources available to individuals will depend on factors such as their care needs, financial circumstances, and eligibility for support services.

HFH Healthcare:

HFH’s specialist team of nurse case managers and carers conduct thorough assessments of each client’s unique needs, developing personalised care plans tailored to address their specific requirements.

We also support all forms of Personal Health Budgets and privately funded packages of care.

HFH supports our clients in understanding their budgets, working in partnership with NHS healthcare teams to deliver exceptional care plans to those who need it most, always endeavouring to create packages that not only improve our client’s quality of life and independence, but also offer great value for money.

Find out more

Write a Comment

Get In Touch