The Association for the Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has published its annual budget survey.
The report highlights the increasingly fragile state of the social care system and the importance of investing in social care.
ADASS recognise the importance of the government's emergency funding in keeping the system working, contributing to a significant and sustained reduction in delayed transfers. But the organisation warns that the need for both short and long-term funding is urgent, and that without it, there will be fewer older and disabled people receiving support.
Funding for adult social care now makes up 37.8 per cent of total council budgets. This shows that councils are continuing to do their best to protect adult social care and yet despite this, social care continues to have to make savings.
ADASS is urgently calling on the Government to:
- Make sure that short-term protected funding to shore up social care continues so that emergency need can be met until the Green Paper is implemented;
- Find a way to deliver long-term, adequate funding in the upcoming green paper that enables meeting people’s needs effectively is a reality, not an aspiration;
- Help councils support the care market and value the skilled staff that works within it, and putting providers on a firm financial footing
A staggering 78 per cent of councils are concerned about their ability to meet the statutory duty to ensure care market stability within their existing budgets. 48 councils say they have seen home care providers closing or cease to trade within the last six months, and 44 councils had contracts handed back by providers – affecting 2,679 people in care – over that period.
Recruitment and retention remains the most significant worry. The skilled social Care workforce delivers essential care yet they are amongst the lowest paid in the economy. It’s, therefore, no surprise that Directors have highlighted being able to increase salaries as the most important factor in recruitment and retention.
Glen Garrod, President of ADASS, said: “It is of serious concern that we have such a fragile social care market, where 48 councils across the country have seen care providers close or cease to trade in the last six months – this means that people do not have the choice over the care that they should have and the potential to transform lives is being lost. It’s also worrying that despite social care’s contributions to reducing pressures on hospitals, NHS pressures continue to have serious impacts on the provision of social care.
“There is an undeniable, urgent and imperative requirement on the Government to act to ensure interim funding continues until the green paper is implemented, that the social care workforces receives the wages and esteem it deserves, that the care market is safeguarded, and that the long-term funding solution that social care desperately needs is finally delivered.
“We cannot go on like this. How we help people live the life they want, how we care and support people in our families and communities, and how we ensure carers get the support they need is at stake – it’s time for us to deliver the secure future that so very many people in need of social care urgently need.”
Responding to these findings, Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said "Over the last two years the Care Quality Commission has raised concerns in its State of Care report that the adult social care sector is precarious with mounting pressures continuing to push the sector towards a tipping point. The ADASS budget survey reinforces our concerns and lays bare the financial pressures Directors are facing which we know can have a direct and detrimental impact on the quality of care and support people receive."