The Housing Group of Future North West, the regional forum on ageing, have kept a watchful eye on the integration of housing, care and financial advice offered to older people and their carers by local authorities following introduction of the Care Act 2014. They conducted a survey in September this year and have shared their recommendations in a report titled, ‘Search Engine Failure: Housing and Care Advice in the North West’.
Information and advice is key to decision making but the Care Act duty on local authorities to provide information and advice is harder to find than we hoped for and in some cases, non-existent. The Housing Group came up with a number of recommendations including:
- Government should offer additional guidance to councils on explaining the Care Act, the use of website links, and the importance of directly linking housing services and providers into Care Act provisions, particularly those relating to prevention.
- Councils should engage with their local older people’s forum or, where they don’t exist, a similar body to review their website and information
- Information and Advice needs to be more person-centred and capable of responding to questions that do not fit existing service patterns. This would assist greatly in fulfilling the remit of preventing early use of care services.
The full report is available here