More than two years after Andrew Dilnot published his long-term care recommendations, the government is finally asking who should offer financial advice on this subject.
In a 111-page consultation paper published today (18 July) the Department for Health stated people will need good information and advice to help with financial decisions about their care.
This includes information on the costs of care, on the financial support available, on financial products and other options, and on practical arrangements such as appointing a lasting power of attorney.
The consultation paper noted the local authority has a crucial role to play in ensuring that when people need care they have access to the information and advice they need.
Other organisation, such as the NHS trusts, GPs and financial service providers may have a role too, the consultation paper argued.
The Care Bill sets out clear legal duties for authorities to provide local people with information that will help them financially plan if they or a family member need care.
Local authorities will be required to facilitate access to independent financial advice when individuals require an in depth discussion about their financial options, the Care Bill stated.
Local authorities will not be required to provide this financial advice and information directly.
The Dilnot Commission highlighted the need for an information and advice service about financial planning two year ago. Ideally, Dilnot argued this would start at an early stage when there tends to be better opportunities to financially plan.
This includes at retirement, which is a key moment when people consider their overall financial situation and make important decisions about their pension annuity and their home.
However, more than two years after the Dilnot proposals were unveiled the government revealed it has only concluded that third parties, including the charitable and financial services sectors, “could” be better placed to provide information and advice about paying for care.
In today’s consultation paper the government revealed it is keen to hear views on how authorities should approach this task and how they can work in partnership with others to meet this new duty on them.