Independent financial advice about funding social care in later life – a project exploring evidence and practice

This study is exploring existing research and current practice regarding independent financial advice about funding social care in older age.

Related links

Publications and presentations from the project are available from the York Research Database.

This research sits within our Professional and service issues research themeRead about our research themes.

Click here to download a summary of the research findings. 

For more information contact Kate Baxter.

Background and aims

There is limited research evidence about people who fund their own social care, often referred to as ‘self-funders’. However, we do know that there are substantial numbers of self-funders and that they often feel they lack personalised advice about the financial implications of paying for care. Despite some insurance-type products being available, few people purchase them.

The Care Act 2014 made it a duty for local councils to provide people with information on how to access independent financial advice related to care and support. We do not know how this new system is working, the best time to seek financial advice or the relationships between local council financial assessors and independent financial advisers. In addition, we do not know what conflicts there may be between the financial interests of councils and those of people receiving independent financial advice in relation to paying for care.

This study aims to create new evidence by exploring existing research and current practice regarding independent financial advice about funding social care in older age. It aims to promote discussion and debate in an area that has received little attention to date but is a key element of the Care Act.

Methods

This is a qualitative research project that includes:

  1. a scoping review of published UK research evidence about access to, use of, and the provision and outcomes of independent financial advice relevant to the meeting of needs for social care;
  2. a review of English policy regarding the provision of independent financial advice in relation to planning for and meeting social care need;
  3. 50 interviews to explore the challenges and opportunities in relation to accessing and providing independent financial advice. Interviews will be held with practitioners who signpost potential self-funders for financial advice about funding social care, local council financial assessors, independent financial advisers, national representatives of professional bodies/networks, and recipients of independent financial advice about funding social care.
  4. A national event to stimulate debate by bringing together practitioners, advisers and managers from different organisations to engage with the findings, discuss areas for policy and practice development and identify future research priorities.

Policy and practice implications

The national event and an associated short briefing paper will create opportunities for debate and networking between local councils and the independent financial sector. The research will help local councils in thinking about the advice they offer and the ways in which they signpost service users to independent financial advice. It will also assist practitioners in understanding the relationships between local council financial assessors and independent financial advisers.

Additional information

Duration

November 2016 – December 2017

Related links

Publications and presentations from the project are available from the York Research Database.

This research sits within our Professional and service issues research themeRead about our research themes.

Click here to download a summary of the research findings. 

For more information contact Kate Baxter.