New care services minister Norman Lamb says financial advice must be available to everyone considering long-term care for themselves or relatives.
Speaking at a Local Government Information Unit fringe event at the Liberal Democrat autumn conference in Brighton yesterday, North Norfolk MP Lamb said advice is crucial to those seeking care.
He said: “So many who fund their own care, apart from having no information of what services are available, have no access to financial advice and guidance for how best to prepare for potentially catastrophic loss when a loved one ends up with some condition that requires intensive care and support.
“We must ensure everyone gets access to the advice and support they need.”
Long-term care is currently a hot political topic after former care services minister Paul Burstow last week claimed the Treasury was blocking reforms.
Andrew Dilnot’s plan for long-term care involves capping an individuals’ lifetime contributions at £35,000. Any cost above this level will be met by Government.
In July, prime minister David Cameron accepted the principle of a cap but questioned how the Government might pay the estimated £1.7bn annual price tag.
Speaking last night Lamb backed the Dilnot reforms and said there is cross-party agreement for the first time.
He said: “There has to be an informed public debate about how it is funded at a time of enormous constraint on the public purse.
“My task is to ensure that in this parliament we settle this issue, give certainty to those who are sometimes petrified about the future and resolve it once and for all. I will do everything I can to achieve it.”