This is an interesting development, with Care England taking legal action against Essex County Council over the rates the local authority pay for care.

They are challenging the 'standard rate' a council will pay towards adult social care, if you qualify for their financial assistance after means testing.

This amount could be less than the place will cost in the residential care home that you or your family would like you to receive your care.

When the standard rate is lower than the cost of providing care, very often privately funded residents in the same care home are paying higher fees to cross-subsidise the local authority funded residents.

Cash-strapped local authorities are really struggling at the moment to fund adult social care. 

Here in Surrey, our county council recently proposed a 15% council tax hike (which would have required a referendum) in an attempt to fill a funding gap created, in part, due to an ageing population with greater care needs.

We will be watching the outcome of this case in Essex with interest to see what impact it might have on the standard rate paid by other local authorities.