England & Wales Press Releases

Think tank warns of looming crisis of support for self-funders

New research published by localist think tank LGiU shows that self-funders of adult social care present a significant financial challenge for local government, threatening the entire structure of the social care system. 57 per cent of individuals fund in full or in part their residential and nursing care, but a substantial number are falling back upon council budgets. The research, supported by specialist insurer Partnership, finds that:

  • 24 per cent of self-funders of residential care exhaust their resources and fall back on state funding
  • Self-funders falling back on state funding cost councils £425m in 2011-12
  • The cost of self-funders of residential care falling back on state funding is more than four times the £104m worth of service reductions that adult service departments will make in 2013-14

As the Government’s Care Bill recognises, councils can reduce the cost of older people who pay for their own care falling back on state support, improve quality of life for vulnerable older people and meet local government’s new legal duties by helping people make the best decisions about choosing and paying for care and support.

The report finds that, although council support for self-funders has improved significantly since the publication of the LGiU’s first report on this issue, significant areas for improvement remain:

  • 50 per cent of authorities do not provide referral to an independent advice and advocacy service before a care needs or financial assessment as the Care Bill is expected to require when it receives Royal Assent
  • Only 17 per cent of authorities refer self-funders to a firm or panel of independent regulated financial advisers before they receive a care needs assessment or financial assessment

Commenting on the report, Dr Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of LGiU, said:

“Our report highlights a growing level of concern about the plight of self-funders falling back onto state support. Ensuring that self-funders receive the level of support that they need is beneficial for not only the individuals involved but the entire structure of social care.  This report clearly highlights that while we have come a long way over the last two years, there is still much that councils, advisers and the financial services industry can do.”

Chris Horlick, Managing Director of Care for Partnership added:

“This report clearly highlights the role that regulated independent financial advisers can play in ensuring that not only do older people receive the support and information they need but also are able to live out their lives in a manner of their choosing. 

“The current care system and the proposed Care Bill provides significant opportunities for advisers to develop their businesses and provide a more holistic service to their clients.  We suggest that advisers seriously consider how they can become involved in the process.”

The report recommends that, based on best practice in self-funder support from around the country, authorities should:

1. Understand the number of self-funders

2. Improve the content of council information

3. Establish independent financial information and advice service, including referring to regulated financial advice

4. Work through public and third sector partners to promote access to financial information and advice

5. Work to minimise the pressure on self-funders when making choices about care




Notes for Editors

For more information and press enquiries, please contact Lizzie Greenhalgh at [email protected] or on 0207 554 2800/ 07771 374602 or Laurie Thraves at [email protected] or on 0207 554 2800/ 07818 595175.

For a high-res photograph of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, launching the report – please contact [email protected]

The full report, Independent Ageing 2013, is available here: https://lgiu.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Independent-Ageing-2013.pdf


About LGiU

The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) is an award winning think tank and membership organisation. Our mission is to strengthen local democracy to put citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services.

Our team of policy experts and other staff provides practical policy advice, learning and development programmes, events and conferences, consultancy and other resources to our members and other organisations.


About Partnership

Partnership is a specialist provider of financial solutions for people with health/ lifestyle conditions. Partnership aims to offer higher retirement incomes than traditional providers by taking account of people’s health and lifestyle conditions.

Partnership is an expert in the field of medical underwriting and believes it has a market-leading in-house data set. Partnership believes that its years of accumulated data and knowledge give it an unrivalled understanding of the impact of health and lifestyle choices on longevity. It believes that this, in turn, enables it to offer a more accurate assessment of a client’s life expectancy and therefore offer the fairest price to them.

Partnership has a broad offering in the retirement sector and offers a full range of Enhanced Annuity solutions, from clients who smoke or have minor health impairments, through to serious conditions such as cancer. Partnership is the largest provider of annuities for Long Term Care funding in the UK. It entered the equity release market in 2011 with an Enhanced Lifetime Mortgage and also offers specialist protection solutions for clients who have been declined cover from standard providers. Partnership offers a firm commitment to supporting advisers in growing their business.

Partnership has won many awards. These include:

• “Best Enhanced Annuity Provider” – Moneyfacts Awards 2010, 2011, 2012

• ‘Long-term Care Provider’ award at the Health Insurance Awards 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

• Best Annuity Provider – Professional Adviser Awards 2011

• 5 Star rating at the prestigious Financial Adviser Service Awards 2010, 2011, 2012

• 5 star life and pension online service provider, FT Adviser Awards 2012

• 5 Moneyfacts Stars – Lifetime Mortgage – 2013