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 an update 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 31 October 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 of dedicated one to one support per week £15.31 £15.99 4.44%
20+ Hours of dedicated one to one support per week The Council utilises a Care Funding Calculator to calculate the placement amount The Council utilises a Care Funding Calculator to calculate the placement amount  


* 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 in July and August 2019. 

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 in September 2019. 

Presentation for second round of workshops

On 25 November 2019 a further joint letter was sent out to care home providers giving an update on the following:

  • Fee uplifts for 2019/20
  • Bed Vacancy Tracker
  • Joint Contractual Arrangements from April 2020

This letter can be found below together with the revised Joint Service Specification for feedback by 19 December 2019.

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: