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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Charity Sense calls for adequate and sustained financing of adult social care

Written by The Editorial Team

National deafblind charity Sense has responded to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services' (ADASS) annual budget report by calling for adequate and sustained financing for adult social care.

The ADASS report, published today, reviews the current state of adult social care in England, and makes clear that current funding does not adequately match the increased needs and costs of caring for the growing number of older and disabled people.

The report, which surveyed all 151 adult social services directors in England, found that only 8% were confident that they would be able to meet their statutory duties next year. The government decision to allow local authorities to increase council tax bills by 2% to help pay for social care, will not cover the current funding gaps, and will generate less than two thirds of the more than £600 million needed to cover the introduction of the new National Living Wage (NLW).

The majority (82%) of directors thought that quality of care is being undermined by the funding cuts, which have left a gap £940 million to fill just to keep services operating at last year’s levels. In response to the damning report, Sense called on the government to ensure adequate and sustained financing for adult social care.

Kate Fitch, Head of Public Policy at Sense said:“The ADASS survey reveals the pressure local authority budgets are under from government spending cuts and the growing number of people needing support.

"When local authorities are unable to fund appropriate care it will lead to many older and disabled people missing out on the services they desperately need for day-to-day life. Inadequate social care has a knock on effect and results in further demands on the NHS. For example, the deafblind people we support can become more susceptible to falls or require hospital treatment because they didn’t get the support they needed from social care.

"It is vital that the Government heeds the warnings in this report and release enough funds for local authorities to provide the right level of social care support and reduce the burden on the NHS.”

Responding to the report, Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, the largest representative body for independent social care providers, said: “In the main, Directors of Adult Social Services recognise the essential nature of social care; however they need to have the confidence and thus resources to be able to plan and deliver for the weeks, months and years ahead.

"The social care precept delivered in the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review has raised less than two thirds of the calculated costs of the National Living Wage. Its implementation is patchy around the country and it is abundantly clear that the investment in social care is not there.  This in turn impacts on the millions of people needing care and support; furthermore it has a knock on effect on the efficacy of the NHS”.