Local authorities could save over £1bn a year if they used IFAs to advise them on funding for long-term care, says Partnership.
Managing director of care Chris Horlick says local authorities are paying over £1bn a year for people who fund care for themselves but end up falling back on the state when they can no longer afford care costs. He says financial advice could help self-funders to plan their finances so that they do not run out of money and need state help.
Horlick’s call comes after the Audit Commission last week warned that if care costs rise in line with the ageing population, they will double by 2026. It urged councils to develop strategies to deal with the cost.
Horlick says: “If they all had properly qualified financial advice at the outset, they could cut that by a significant proportion. Local authorities have a duty to inform, signpost and advise self-funders as well as state-funded people when they are going into care. If they exercised that duty properly, it would end up saving them money. Why don’t they set up panels of appropriately qualified IFAs to refer all self-funders to?”
Horlick has presented his findings to the health select committee and in his response to the Government’s green paper into a new care and support system. He says Partnership is working with 15 to 20 county councils and a number of London boroughs to help identify the need for care fees advice.