ADASS Spring Survey

A new report by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has revealed that four in five directors of social services in England are concerned about the sustainability of some of their care home providers.

The ADASS Spring Survey 2021 found almost 75,000 disabled and older people and carers are waiting for help with their care and support as social services struggle to cope with an avalanche of needs arising from the COVID pandemic.

Directors of social services reported unprecedented numbers of people waiting for an assessment of their needs, or for agreed care and support arrangements to be put in place with almost 7,000 people have been waiting more than six months for an assessment.

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The report also warned of an impending crisis in the retention of social care staff and calls for the recognition of the role played by staff in adult social care.

ADASS warned government funding through the adult social care precept and social care grant was insufficient to cover the costs of demographic pressures and the National Living Wage, pointing to a shortfall of at least £204m in the current financial year.

Stephen Chandler, ADASS president, said: “Many directors are saying they have never seen such an avalanche of need. Tens of thousands of people have lost their independence during the pandemic, suffered fresh distress or seen existing care and support arrangements break down. Many have delayed coming forward until now.

“Behind every one of the 75,000 cases of people waiting for an assessment or for care and support is a human story of someone unable to lead the life they want to lead and enjoy the minimum that any of us would want to guarantee for our fellow citizens.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “No local government official readily admits they are routinely breaking the law, and the fact that so many have done so in this survey shows just how bad a state social care is now in.

“We admire the honesty of these Directors of Adult Social Services, and sympathise with the increasingly impossible position they find themselves in, trying to spread the jam ever more thinly to meet a tsunami of local care needs – a situation made worse by the pandemic.

“While Ministers fiddle, social care burns, leaving hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people, and their family carers, without the support they need to live decent, dignified lives. The Prime Minister has promised to fix social care and he should live up to his pledge.

“It’s hard to imagine how the results of a survey like this could get much worse, but there’s no doubt they will, unless and until the Government delivers on their promises.”

Stephen Chandler added: “Our survey shows starkly why the government must now, without any further delay, produce its plans to reform social care. We have called for the outline of the plans to be tabled before parliament starts its six-week summer recess next week. Those plans must address the needs of people of working age as well as older people.”

The report comes after ADASS called for an immediate cash injection and new recruits in January to support its exhausted workforce and ensure that vital services for older people, disabled people, families and carers did not collapse as the COVID-19 pandemic hit a peak.

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