Petrus, thank you for that explanation, I must confess I didn't understand the difference between self- and private-funding. Jennifer, I don't think you have to have an LA contract in Scotland, it's just advisable. If you take out a direct contract with a NH, it now appears that the LA is within its rights to refuse to pay for personal care, whereas with a contract, you only pay the difference. As a point of interest, I received a contract from our LA last week saying they would pay the NH, and would bill me for my share. Two days later I received a contract from the NH, enclosing a bill for John's first month's stay! I rang the NH, they had a contract from LA saying I would be paying direct. Fortunately I had already signed and sent back my LA contract. A mistake? Possibly! It could be just a coincidence that the personal care judgement had just been made. It could be that I just have a nasty suspicious mind!