The SimplyBiz Group has launched a care advice support service for member firms after finding many advisers were struggling in the "highly complicated and specialised" area.
SimplyCare will offer members access to online information, training on advising older and vulnerable consumers, a dedicated consultancy service and a referral panel of advisers who specialise in the care market.
The compliance support group partnered with stakeholders in the care sector to launch the service, including Just and the specialist advice service My Care Consultant which came to market in 2016 to help IFAs get new business in planning for social care.
Richard Ardron, marketing director at The SimplyBiz Group, said care remains a complex area in the market, whether clients are looking for advice on possible options or are at a stage where immediate solutions are needed.
He said: "Understandably, many advisers are finding themselves unable to provide the support and advice needed throughout this highly complicated and specialised business area, and that’s where SimplyCare can help.
"Some elements of dealing with care – such as understanding the intricacies of NHS services and dealing with those who may be developing dementia – are not regulated, but are specialist skills and require high levels of both experience and knowledge.
"We’re committed to ensuring our members have access to the very best support, especially when it comes to dealing with clients who may be vulnerable."
Elizabeth Faye, director of advice firm Carepal Assist and part of the SimplyCare referral panel, said the sooner consumers realise they need advice on care, the more options there are available to them.
She said: "People are suddenly thrown into having to learn all about the complexities of the care system, at what is already a very stressful time, and this just makes it harder for them to take everything in."
Ms Faye said as a result consumers can often make hasty decisions which prove costly.
She added: "We think this is a fantastic idea and are really excited about being part of something that will increase the amount of help available to families with care needs.
"We are constantly told by families that they wished they had come across us sooner, so giving SimplyBiz Group members and clients access to this service will mean clients entering the care arena have a far less stressful time of it, as they are able to access the relevant advice, far more quickly."
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