Social care concerns higher than ever

Adass has found that almost all social care directors are concerned about their ability to provide the care they are legally required to.

The organisation’s annual survey found that 93 per cent of directors indicated that they have some concerns, or insufficient capacity to manage the failure of a large provider, whilst 90 per cent of directors stated that they have either some concerns, or insufficient capacity to manage winter related pressures over the coming months.

Furthermore, directors identified that there have been unintended consequences of the strong focus on reducing rates of delayed transfers of care from hospitals in their areas with more than eight in 10 of directors saying there has been a moderate, significant or very significant increase in rapid discharges to short-term care home placements that became long-term (82.3 per cent in 2018).

Julie Ogley, president of Adass, said: “Good care and support transforms lives. It enhances health and well-being, increases independence, choice and control. It is distinctive, valued, and personal. Back in July, our budget survey showed that we are desperately lacking the sustainable long-term funding needed to provide vital services that will allow us all to live the dignified lives we want to lead.

“We are relentlessly positive about what social care can achieve. But it’s clear from today’s findings that the situation is worse than in July. We cannot keep relying on emergency, one-off short-term funding and we cannot afford more vague promises or partial solutions. Those of us who are not getting care and support, those who are not getting enough care, those who are giving up work to care for family members and those who are getting ill and ending up in hospital for want of care at home deserve the social care we know is possible and essential.

"This is why, whoever forms the next government must make a choice and prioritise adult social care.  They must give certainty about funding, longer-term reform and a long-term plan that puts fairness at the heart of everything.”

Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “As this survey demonstrates, councils’ social care services are committed to ensuring adults of all ages have access to high quality care and support when they need it. However, rising costs and demand pressures mean incredibly difficult decisions are having to be made.

“This is one of the major issues facing society and councils have played their part in keeping the debate on the public agenda. The next government needs to bring forward substantive proposals for the future of adult social care as soon as possible, to reassure all those who use and work in this vital service. We need an honest debate about what the future of care and support should be and how it should be funded in the long-term.”