The Care Act: Information & Advice

The Care Act:
Information & Advice
Lucy Bonnerjea, July 2014
The Care Act: Information & Advice
 Local authorities will need to establish and maintain a
comprehensive information and advice service about care
and support services in their local area.
 This will help people to understand:
How care and support services work locally
The care and funding options available
How people can access care and support services
Also how to prevent/ delay people’s need for support.
• Information = the communication of knowledge and facts
about care and support
• Advice = helping a person to identify choices. Possibly
including recommendations
What information is required?
Types of care and support available – e.g. specialised
dementia care, befriending services, re-ablement, personal
assistance, residential care etc.; The range of care and
support services available to local people, i.e. what local
providers offer certain types of services;
Processes local people need to use to get care and
Where local people can find independent financial advice
about care and support and help them to access it;
How to raise concerns about the safety or wellbeing of
someone who has care and support needs.
What else?
 Local authorities must help people to benefit from
independent financial advice, so that they can get support to
plan and prepare for the future costs of care.
 All information and advice must be provided in formats that
help people to understand, regardless of their needs.
 Formats may include a range of different types of
information, and include working with partners to provide
information on different services together.
Statutory Guidance supports the Act
 The Act requires local authorities to establish and maintain
an information and advice service in their area.
 The information and advice service must cover the needs of
all its population, not just those who are in receipt of care or
support which is arranged or funded by the local authority.
 Information and advice is fundamental to enabling people,
carers and families to take control of and make wellinformed choices about their care and support.
 Not only does information and advice help to promote
people’s wellbeing by increasing their ability to exercise
choice and control, it is also a vital component of preventing
or delaying people’s need for care and support.
What does the Guidance cover?
 Ensuring the availability of information and advice services
for all people
 Who in particular might benefit from information and advice
 The local authority role with respect to financial information
and advice
 The accessibility and proportionality of information and
 The development of plans/strategies to meet local needs
Must be open to everyone
Reasonable adjustments may be necessary
Various formats, including face to face contact
Various groups such as people with sensory impairments,
socially isolated, with LD, with mental health problems
• Content: what is available; how to access it; chocies; how to
raise concerns
Financial Information and advice
• Important so people can make well-informed choices about
how they pay for their care
• LA should provide some of this themselves’ some of it
should be provided independently; some by regulated
financial advice organisations;
• Some direct provision?
• Some information should be independent of LAs
• Some information should be from regulated financial
organisations – where it involves information about specific
financial products
Should include:
Understanding care charges
Ways to pay
Money management
Making informed financial decisions
Facilitating access to independent financial information and
• Large numbers of people with dementia no longer have
capacity to make long term financial decisions themselves;
• Should not be asked to; should not be referred to
organisations which might not recognise their lack of
capacity to make financial decisions;
• Many need attorneys or deputies
• Families cannot make financial decisions on behalf of people
who lack capacity to make financial decisions
• Not can the LA unless they have a court order from the
Court of Protection
A Plan or Strategy
• LAs need to develop and implement a plan regarding their
information and advice services
• Should be aligned with CCG/Health services
• Should be reviewed at agreed intervals
• The review should be done with local people/ stakeholders
• LAs should publish information about the effectiveness of
their information service
Consultation Questions
 Views are invited about how local authorities should
coordinate and target information to those who have specific
health and care and support needs?
 Does the guidance provide sufficient clarity about the active
role that local authorities should play to support people’s
access to financial information and advice that is
independent of the local authority, including regulated
financial advisors?