CQC Quality Statements

Theme 1 – Working with People: Supporting people to live healthier lives

We Statement

We support people to manage their health and wellbeing so they can maximise their independence, choice and control. We support them to live healthier lives and where possible, reduce future needs for care and support.

What people expect

I can get information and advice about my health, care and support and how I can be as well as possible – physically, mentally and emotionally. I am supported to plan ahead for important changes in my life that I can anticipate.


Paying for Care (Knowsley Council)

1. Introduction

Financial information and advice enables people to make well informed choices about how they pay for their care and support, both now and in the future. Providing good quality, impartial financial information and advice helps people to have a better idea of how their resources can be used to fund different types of care and support services.

This chapter should be read alongside Information and Advice, in particular the sections on accessibility and proportionality.

The term ‘independent financial information and advice’ refers to services which are independent of the local authority.

The term ‘regulated’ financial advice means advice from an organisation regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Organisations which are regulated can provide individual recommendations about specific financial products.

2. Providing Financial Advice and Information

The local authority must provide financial information and advice related to care and support. Where it is not appropriate for the local authority to provide this information directly, it must ensure people can easily access independent financial advice from other sources.

It is important to identify those (including families and carers) who could benefit from financial advice or information as early as possible. Work to raise awareness generally about how care and support is funded is also important.

Local authorities should:

  • consider a person’s need for financial information and advice when they make first contact with the authority and then throughout the assessment, care and support planning and review processes (see Assessment and Care and Support Planning chapters);
  • work with partners to get the right messages to people in the local area, including adults with care and support needs, their carers, families and friends;
  • work with partners to ensure they also communicate messages about the benefits of financial information and advice. This includes by services provided by the voluntary sector, hospitals, GPs, and solicitors who may be advising on wills or power of attorney.

When making plans about how to pay for care and support, the adult needs to have confidence about their options now, in the future and should their circumstances change. Adults will need to access financial information and advice at different times to enable them to make plans to pay for their care.

The local authority service should therefore cover immediate and long term financial planning, and provide access to the full range of financial information and advice – from basic budgeting tips to regulated advice. It is also importance that the staff providing financial information and recognise that some people are less able to protect themselves from theft, fraud and financial exploitation (see Adult Safeguarding).

The following aspects of financial information and advice should be available:

  • understanding care charges;
  • ways to pay;
  • money management;
  • making informed financial decisions;
  • facilitating access to independent financial information and advice.

Before providing financial information or advice to an adult, the local authority should establish if they have a deputy from the Court of Protection or a person with Lasting Power of Attorney acting on their behalf.

3. Understanding Care Charges

People should be provided with information to help them understand what they may have to pay for their care and support, when they will need to pay and how it relates to their individual circumstances. This should cover:

  • the charging framework for care and support
  • how contributions are calculated (from both assets and income) and the means tested support available;
  • top-ups (see Charging and Financial Assessment);
  • how care and support choices may affect costs.

In the case of top-ups, the local authority should make sure that someone is willing and able to pay them on behalf of the adult; financial information will be vital in helping with this.

4. Ways to Pay

People must be provided with information on the availability of different ways to pay for care including through;

  • income and assets (for example, pension or housing wealth);
  • a deferred payment agreement (see Deferred Payment Agreements);
  • financial products (for investing, borrowing or saving money – see the Moneyhelper  website for examples); or
  • a combination of these things.

Information provided should be relevant to the person’s individual circumstances and ensure access to an independent source of information or advice is provided where required. This will be particularly important for adults who are meeting the total cost of care and support themselves, or who may be considering taking out a deferred payment agreement or purchasing a financial product.

5. Money Management

Adults will need different levels of support managing their finances depending on their situation, their care and support needs (including mental capacity) and the amount they are expected to contribute.

Some people may only need basic information and support, to help them manage their finances in light of their changing circumstances. Topics may include welfare benefits, advice on good money management, help with basic budgeting and possibly on debt management. The local authority may be able to provide some of this information itself, for example on welfare benefits, but where it cannot, it should help people access it.

Other people may need more complex information and advice, if they have a number of different financial arrangements for example.

6. Making Informed Financial Decisions

The local authority must support people to make informed, affordable and sustainable financial decisions about their care at all stages of their life.

In many situations the role of the local authority will be to understand the person’s circumstances, explore their preferences and help them to access the information and advice that they need to make well informed decisions.

Where a person lacks mental capacity, the authority must establish whether they have a deputy of the Court of Protection or a person with Lasting Power of Attorney acting on their behalf. If they do not, the local authority’s client affairs team may need to be involved.

The local authority must consider a person’s specific circumstances when providing information about the different methods of paying for care and support that may be available to them.

Staff within the local authority and other frontline services should be able to direct people to the financial information and advice they need, and be able to explain the differences and potential benefits from seeking non-regulated or regulated financial advice.

7. Facilitating Access to Independent Financial Information and Advice

The local authority also has a key in role in helping people access independent financial information and advice. This should include both generic free and fee-based advice, as well as services providing regulated forms of financial advice. The local authority should make sure people are clear which independent services may charge for the information and advice they provide. It should also be able to describe the general benefits of independent information and advice and explain the reasons why it may be beneficial for a person to take independent financial advice based on what is known of an person’s individual’s circumstances.

Where a person may be considering taking regulated financial advice, the local authority does not have to make a direct referral to one individual independent financial adviser, but should direct people to a choice of advisers regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

8. Further Reading

8.1 Relevant chapters

Preventing, Reducing and Delaying Needs for Care and Support

Information and Advice

Charging and Financial Assessment

8.2 Relevant information

Chapter 3, Information and Advice, Care and Support Statutory Guidance (Department of Health and Social Care)

Financial Resources for People with Disabilities (Credit Action)

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