Concern amongst Directors of Adults Social Services in England about their ability to provide the care and support that they are required to in law is at its highest level ever. Winter or the failure of a major provider could make things significantly worse, according to findings of the ADASS autumn survey released today.
The findings of the survey found that almost all Directors are concerned about their ability to provide the care they are legally required to. Nearly all have concerns that they have insufficient capacity to deal with winter or the failure of a major care provider. This could fundamentally undermine their ability to ensure that care is provided to those of us who are older or disabled.
93% of Directors indicated that they have some concerns, or insufficient capacity to manage the failure of a large provider. 90% of Directors stated that they have either some concerns, or insufficient capacity to manage winter related pressures over the coming months.
In response to the findings, President Julie Ogley said:
“Good care and support transforms lives. It enhances health and wellbeing, 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.”
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “In the run up to Christmas, these new statistics show that the care system is skating on very thin ice. As we head into December it is hugely concerning that 9 in 10 of the people in charge of the delivery of social care don’t know how they would manage the collapse of a big care chain, or a period of intense Winter pressure as a result, say of a major flu outbreak – let alone the combination of both these events which is a distinct risk in this and every year.
“If you need care but can’t get it then the consequences for your health and wellbeing can be very serious – as the NHS knows all too well. We all ought to be worried that there are 1.5 million older and disabled people struggling without the help they require at what is traditionally the most difficult time of year for health and care services.”
“Older and disabled people, their families and carers have had to put up with a third rate system for far too long. We can change it for the better and for all our sakes this must be a top priority for the next Government. People in need of care cannot wait any longer.”