Responding to the Public Accounts Committee report on personal budgets in adult social care, the President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Harold Bodmer, said:
“This report rightly highlights the importance of personal budgets. They improve the choice and control that we have over our own care, and over our own lives. Extending these arrangements to cover both health and social care creates the potential for properly integrated care to be shaped by individuals, as much as by organisations, and means that we can make sure that public money is being spent on what’s really important in offering choice and control to people. We strongly welcome the recognition in the report of the significant impact that funding reductions in adult social care have had, and the very difficult decisions that councils are therefore having to make on a daily basis while we implement the Care Act.
“Adult social services lost almost a third of its funding over the course of the last Parliament, and we estimate that the gap between the funding we have and the demand we will see will grow further – by at least £1.1 billion by 2020. To help cope with a huge increase in demand, the difficulties of dealing with more complex needs as people get older, and the impact of the welcome National Living Wage (NLW), we have repeatedly called upon the Government to bring forward the £700 million of Better Care Fund money currently planned for 2019-20.
“We fully support the concerns set out in the report about the impact of funding reductions on the care market. More than three quarters of councils experienced some kind of social care provider failure last year, and as the full impact of the introduction of the NLW is felt, we will only see more services put at risk. ADASS has made the sustainability of the home care sector one of its priorities in light of the fragility of the care market and people’s future needs, but unless the Government addresses the chronic underfunding of social care – and quickly – many services are at significant risk over the next couple of years, and this will have worrying consequences for older and disabled people, their families and carers.”