Commenting on HSBC’s decision to close their long term care advice division on 1st July, Dr Ros Altmann, director-general of Saga said:
“The timing of HSBC’s decision to withdraw their long term care advice service from the market is a real disappointment, particularly as the Dilnot Commission has highlighted the desperate need for elderly people and their families to receive comprehensive information and advice on the options of paying for long term care.” Said Dr Ros Altmann, director-general of Saga.
“Without this specialist advice there is a very real danger that people will resort to running down, if not depleting their assets to pay care home fees, when there are often alternatives available.
“Whilst there are other organisations in addition to Saga still offering this complex advice service, HSBCs decision further highlights the challenge the commission faces when trying to encourage the financial services industry to provide creative products and support in this area.
“Whilst the government considers its’ response to the Commission’s recommendations there are already approximately 150,000* self-funded residents in care, a figure that is only expected to grow. For most people, care is a once-in-a-lifetime matter and people need to know that specialist advice on the current care funding choices is available. HSBC’s decision means there are now fewer places to turn to get such in-depth advice.
“Time is a luxury that many of these families simply don’t have so we urge the government to urgently put in place the working groups recommended in the report so that real reform can happen. Whilst this may not help many of the families with loved ones already in receipt of care, it can give some security and certainty to those with older relatives who may require care in the future.”
Saga offers a free guide to funding care “Making Sense of Paying for Care” which can be obtained by calling 0800 056 6101 or visiting saga.co.uk/ltc
Editors notes: * Source Laing & Buisson – Care of Elderly People Market Survey 2010-2011 - number of self-funders in care 2009.
For further information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529.