This topic applies mainly to care homes, which will always be involved with the managing and handling of service users’ monies and consequently require effective governance of the processes. Domiciliary care providers are less likely to be involved in a user’s financial affairs but could be involved in financial transactions as part of the service provision and must have strict controls to prevent possible abuse.

All providers should enable and encourage service users to remain in control of their money and financial affairs for as long as possible. For the service user this is important in retaining their independence and personal dignity.

Care providers should assume that a person will manage their own money unless there is evidence to the contrary and every effort should be made to assist the individual to make their own decisions. There are exceptions to this rule: where a service user states that they do not wish to maintain such control, where a service user lacks the mental capacity to control their own finances, or whose physical disabilities prevent them from handling their own money and need support with the tasks.

In summary, the following principles should be followed.

  • Everybody has the right to spend their money as they wish.

  • Everybody has the right to keep their financial information private.

  • Having these rights restricted affects an individual’s independence and dignity and could amount to a form of restraint or abuse.

  • Where decisions are made on a service user’s behalf they must be made in the best interests of the service user.

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