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TAKE CARE: Cost of residential care varies by more than £800 a week in different areas across Britain

The average weekly cost of private residential care in Great Britain is £848, according to analysis from Legal & General Retail Retirement. However, the data indicates a significant difference in care costs at a local level, varying by more than £800 a week across the country – that’s £41,600 a year

20 Jan 2021

Full press release

  • The weekly cost of residential care varies by more than £800 across Great Britain – ranging from £1,488 in Islington, London, to £621 in Blaenau Gwent, Wales
  • London dominates Britain’s most costly residential care, followed by Windsor & Maidenhead and Elmbridge, Surrey
  • Stoke-on-Trent, Blackpool and Merthyr Tydfil are some of the least expensive locations for residential care
  • On average, there is a £229 difference between the cost of weekly residential care and council paid fees

Legal & General Retail Retirement launches Care Concierge, believed to be a first of its kind service to help people understand their funding options and find later life care.

To help people more effectively plan for the cost of long-term care, and find the right care as quickly as possible (in as little as 24 hours if needed), Legal & General has launched its Care Concierge Service. This includes a free 15 minute initial consultation by phone and an online advice hub.

Residential care costs across Britain

The most expensive areas for residential care costs are overwhelmingly in Greater London boroughs, with Islington (£1,488), Westminster (£1,483) and Hammersmith & Fulham (£1,468) topping the tables for weekly costs. Outside of the capital, Windsor & Maidenhead (£1,203) and Elmbridge, Surrey (£1,142) have the highest costs for private residential care.

With care costs so significant, one in four residents will run out of money at some point, emphasising the need to plan for the cost of care early in retirement.

However, there are areas in the country where the care costs are lower, with Stoke-on-Trent (£646), Blackpool (£644) and Merthyr Tydfil (£641) having some of the lowest costs for residential care in Great Britain. The least expensive cost is £621 a week in Blaenau Gwent, Wales. [Specific costs for every council across Great Britain available upon request]

Table: Varying care costs across most populated UK cities


Weekly cost of private pay residential care

























Differences in the cost of private care and council paid fee

Even in many of the least expensive locations for residential care in Britain there is a disparity between the cost of private care and the local council paid fee. On average, there is a £229 difference in this figure across Great Britain.

The biggest difference is in Hammersmith & Fulham, London, at £814 and the smallest difference can be found in Bristol, where there is just a £20 disparity. This is particularly relevant as research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies found that the amount of money spent per person on long-term care by the state has fallen by 31% over the last decade, with cuts varying considerably geographically4.

Legal & General Retail Retirement launches Care Concierge Service

To help people better navigate the complexities of care, Legal & General Retail Retirement has today launched its Care Concierge Service.

The service, Legal & General’s first formal entry into the care market, offers a personal service to help people understand, find and fund later life care. This includes a dedicated online hub, along with a confidential telephone advisory service, giving personalised guidance on current or future care needs. A care cost calculator, and a choice of tools, also help people to better understand the process, alongside specific access to care funding advice.

Dr. Sam Roberts, managing director of Health and Care, Legal & General Retail Retirement: "Knowing what care you or a family member needs, and how to find it, isn’t easy. We have shone a light on the struggles many families face in our ‘Caring for Britain’ paper, with some 1.3 million older people requesting care each year, but only around 700,000 getting it2. As the number of over 80s steadily rises, demand is only set to increase, highlighting the need for more innovation from public, private, charity and social enterprise sectors to make the choices families face easier to navigate.

 We also know that very few families plan their finances to take into account later life care. On average, people can expect to pay more than £800 a week for private residential care, which is more than double the average weekly income for people in retirement (£320), according to the Department for Work & Pensions3.  Care can be one of the more expensive costs someone will encounter in their life. It’s important that people get advice so they are aware of the cost implications and benefit options for residential care, particular to their area, so that they can then realistically plan ahead and anticipate how much they need to have set aside. If you are living in an expensive location, such as London, for instance, you need a lot more money to fund care and the risk of running out of money is much higher. We want to help people find not only the right care, but the very best care they can afford."

Dr. Sam Roberts, managing director of Health and Care, Legal & General Retail Retirement: "The reality is that there is no national system of long-term care.  It is a complex process that can be very different for individuals based on a number of factors, such as their benefit entitlements or health needs. However, we are seeing some great innovations and initiatives in the market to improve the cost and quality of care. Even so, we know, from our conversations, that people can benefit from personal guidance to navigate a complicated system with a lot of considerations.

Our Care Concierge Service lets people find care options more effectively and efficiently, helping people to navigate their way through key aspects of their care journey, such as making decisions, housing, means testing, care provision and care funding advice. In addition to a range of digital tools, it provides a personal telephone service, so you can speak to the same person throughout your journey, whether it be at a point of crisis or just looking to plan ahead."

Further information

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Claire Byrd

Senior PR Manager

Legal & General Retail

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Robbie Steel


T: +44 7903 260 560

Email Robbie Steel

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with £1.2 trillion in total assets under management1 of which 40% is international. We have a unique and highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. Legal & General provides powerful asset origination and management capabilities directly to clients, which also underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions. We are a leading international player in Pension Risk Transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers and create value for our shareholders. Through inclusive capitalism, we are investing in long-term assets, such as real estate and infrastructure, that can help build a better society for the future.

1Data as at 31 December 2023.

Legal & General Retail Retirement’s mission is to help its customers lead longer, healthier, happier lives. We believe everyone should be able to have a ‘more colourful retirement’. The Division comprises the Group’s retirement savings and income, later life lending and care solutions businesses. In 2020, LGRR wrote £910 million of annuity premiums and issued £791 million of lifetime and retirement interest only mortgages.

*at 31 Jun 2021