Market experts have slammed both the system, products and levels of available advice in the self pay long term care (LTC) market.
Contributors, at a Partnership sponsored seminar; ‘Care Solutions - minding the Gap, Providing for Self Payers' said the advice market in this sector had been allowed to stagnate.
Norman Lamb MP, political adviser to the deputy prime minister, noted that 40% of those entering LTC were self payers, representing a market in excess of £4bn, and yet were abandoned by financial and advice markets.
He said: "The compact with consumers is broken, through a decade of prevarication. There was a Royal commission in 1999 that called for action and yet this system has got worse. For most self funders there is a complete lack of availability of advice. These people are frozen out of the system, it is a scandal."
Michelle Harrison, CEO of research firm TNS, noted that the public's relationship with the state is changing but our behaviour has not changed.
She pointed out that 53% of people polled think LTC is the responsibility of both the Government and individual , while a further 20% think the responsibility lies solely with the individual.
"Yet we don't see this in the public's behaviour, where only 2% have taken any steps to account for the risk of needing care in their old age," she said, adding that the system as it stood was: "Unfair, full of perverse incentives and misunderstood by the public."
Richard Humphries, senior fellow for social care at the Kings Fund said that today's economics had created "a new landscape" and that "the old views from the 1948 welfare state are changing fundamentally."
He added: "There must be a system where those with the means to pay a share can do so, and therefore there is a need for products that allow them to protect assets through drawdown or insurance. Products need to offer a choice of protection of assets but should not underwrite inheritance. Partnership is a nice word but there will be hard choices."
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