Care Home Services

A care home is a residential setting where people who need care and support can live if it is no longer feasible for them to live in their own home. Care homes offer accommodation, on-site care and support services in a home-like atmosphere. In addition to this, the services ensure people feel safe, supported and engaged with life and their community. They provide help and assistance with personal care and various other aspects of day-to-day living. This includes eating, drinking and communicating. A care home will also help a person to maintain relationships with family and friends. Residents will also enjoy activities both within the home and out in the community.

There are over 200 care homes in Cornwall. These provide over 5000 places for people with a variety of care needs. A distinction is made between those services that can provide nursing care and those which are not registered to do so. Some may also specialise in catering for particular conditions. These include dementia, mental health or physical disability.

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View the Commissioning diagram.

In 2017, the Council and NHS Kernow worked together with local Care Homes to develop a set of Strategic Commissioning Intentions. This sets out our key outcomes for the future commissioning of Care Homes in Cornwall. It also includes a delivery plan for achieving our objectives.

Cornwall Council is working in collaboration with the NHS and providers of care homes in Cornwall. This partnership will ensure that people experience high-quality and sustainable services. For further information please take a look at the Care Homes Strategic Commissioning Intentions 2017.

Throughout 2017 and 2018 Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow have been working closely with providers of care homes in Cornwall. This has been to develop an approach to calculating placement fees. The intention has been to take account of the actual cost of delivering care in the local market. This will help us to ensure sustainability of a market that is able to respond to the changing needs and preferences of people now and in the future.

Alongside this new approach to fees, the Council will also be introducing a new overarching contract and service specification. The new contract and service specification alongside the new approach to fees is intended to underpin Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow’s relationship with care home providers.

Engagement throughout the Fair Cost of Care initiative has been undertaken with residents, families, providers and other stakeholders

Formal Consultation with both the public and providers was undertaken in early 2018 following which changes were made to the fee methodology and the overarching contract and service specification from the comments received.

The new fee methodology has used the Laing Buisson Care Costs benchmarking toolkit for standard care home placements. This takes into account local differences and also built in the introduction of the Living Wage Foundation Rate. For the more complex cases the Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise Care Funding Calculator will be used. Once again taking into account local differences and building in the introduction of the Living Wage Foundation Rate. This is to be used for placements in excess of £1k per week to give a bespoke rate.

Following this new Usual Maximum price rates was brought in on 9 April 2018.

Phase 1

Interim Contract and Usual Maximum Price 2019-20

The Council and NHS Kernow wrote a joint letter to care home providers on 14 February 2019 to give an update about the interim contractual arrangements for 2019. 

The detailed arrangements for the Council’s contract and Usual Maximum Price for 2019-20 was subsequently included in a council letter dated 15 February 2019. 

A further letter is being sent to providers enclosing lists of placements requiring completion of a Cost Breakdown form in certain circumstances together with an indication around dementia or dedicated 121 provision.

Interim Contractual Agreement

Care Home Providers are asked to review the final draft Service Agreement, Individual Placement Agreement and Service Specification to include points of accuracy or any material issues arising by 8 March 2019.

Following extensive feedback from providers a further letter and documents was emailed out on 14 March 2019.

On 16 April following feedback from Care Home providers and Cornwall Partners in Care, final Interim Care Homes contract documents were sent out to providers.Some of the documents are also available to download from the links below.

On 30 May 2019 following the Cornwall Partners in Care meeting on 22 May 2019 a further letter was sent to providers giving a final opportunity for feedback to be given on the Interim Care Homes Contract documents. this information was then collated.

On 30 July 2019 the final Interim Care Homes Contract Documents were sent out to providers. the documents are also available to download at the links below.

 On 3 September 2019 an updated version of Provision of Equipment in Care Home 2019-20 Interim Policy was circulated to providers.

Usual Maximum Price

The Council’s Usual Maximum Price for 2019-20 will be increased to include inflation and the increase in the Living Wage Foundation Rate:

Rate Category 2018/19 UMP 2019/20 UMP % increase
Nursing* £756 £802 6.02%
Residential £687 £722 4.96%
Residential Dementia £736 £772 4.82%
Up to 20 hours 121 per week £15.31 £15.99 4.44%
20+ Hours of 121 per week Care Funding Calculator Care Funding Calculator  


* The Nursing Rate is exclusive of Funded Nursing Care and may be adjusted following the announcement of the FNC Rate for 2019-20.

Development of Commercial and Market Development Strategy for joint commissioning arrangements for April 2020 onwards

The Council and NHS Kernow were invited to attend a Cornwall Partners in Care (CPIC) meeting on 22 May 2019 to discuss with the providers the plan for joint working in Phase 2 of the project. See below questions raised at this meeting by providers and the joint response from the council and NHS Kernow, also the feedback from the workshop session.

On 14 June 2019 a joint letter was sent out to all providers together with a Care Home Questionnaire to be completed and returned by 19 July 2019.

A series of Joint workshops for providers to discuss the future service specification, placement process and market development strategy were arranged as follows:

19 July 2019 1:30pm to 4:30pm Cornwall Council Offices,
Chy Trevail, Bodmin
23 July 2019 2pm to 5pm Cornwall Council Offices,
St Austell One Stop Shop
7 August 2019 1:30pm to 4:30pm Cornwall Council Offices, New County Hall, Truro


Presentation from the first round of workshops

Further Joint Provider  Workshops have been arranged to discuss the on boarding and negotiation process for the new joint contract as follows:

Date Time Location
17 September 2019 1:30pm to 4:30 pm Cornwall Council Offices, Dolcoath Avenue, Camborne
23 September 2019 2pm to 5pm Cornwall Council Offices, Chy Trevail, Beacon Technology Park, Bodmin
26 September 2019 9:30 am to 12:30 pm NHS Kernow Offices, Sedgemoor Centre, Priory Road, St Austell


Presentation for second round of workshops

If you wish to attend one of the workshops please book your place by emailing 

The Red Bag Pathway has been developed in partnership with

  • Cornwall Council
  • NHS Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust and NHS Kernow Commissioning Group
  • Care Home providers
  • Cornwall Partners in Care
  • E Zec
  • Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust
  • South West Ambulance Service Trust and
  • other partners in the locality

This has been based on work undertaken at other sites across the country taking learnings from other projects into consideration.

The Task and Finish Group for the project have agreed a style of Red Bag that meets infection control requirements. This style will also allow the person to take their belongings and documentation with them to and from hospital.

How it will work

The Red Bag will follow the care home resident through the admission and discharge process to and from hospital. The bag will include all of the relevant paperwork together with the resident’s belongings. At all stages through the process professionals will be aware that the patient is a care home resident. Patients' belongings will always stay with them.


Based on the evidence from other sites, the Red Bag Pathway will help to ensure:

  • Safe, timely and appropriate discharge with a reduction in avoidable readmissions
  • Fewer phone calls between services
  • Less duplication of work
  • Less communication breakdown
  • Fewer medication problems
  • More personalised care and a better experience for people going into hospital
  • Fewer harm related incidents
  • Reduced risk at the point of discharge

Please see the presentation for more information and the poster for display in the home.

Rollout of bags

Bags are being issued to homes 2, 3 or 4 depending on the number of beds in homes. This is initially in the mid and west of Cornwall starting at the beginning of December 2018 with east of Cornwall being covered in the New Year. The current plan is to only issue these bags to Care Homes for Older People.


Please see the links below to the relevant  paperwork which will need to be included in the folder in the front of the Red Bag.

There is also a feedback form for completion and return when the Red Bag is used. This should be completed and returned to

The Council, together with NHS Kernow, are committed to ensuring that everyone in our community has the opportunity to tell us their views. We want your comments on care home services that are provided locally. If you would like to provide feedback about Care Home services in Cornwall and their future commissioning, please do contact us:

If you have concerns about the quality of services provided please refer to the following guidance:

We have been awaiting details of the arrangements by which staff can receive a free flu jab. This is for staff who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients / clients and are:

  • working in registered residential care / nursing homes or
  • registered domiciliary care providers

NHS England and Public Health England have now released the free flu vaccinations letter. The message below has been circulated to health and social care providers by Public Health.  This details of how to help you and your staff access the free jab.

In summary: 

  • The new system is launching
  • Pharmacies are good to go now
  • GPs will be registering to opt in this week and will only be delivering to their own patients
  • The GP service link in the letter has lots of technical detail
  • The Pharmacy service link in the letter has some very useful letter templates for staff to use in proving eligibility
  • Care staff will need to check if their own GP has opted in to the scheme and if not use a pharmacy