Social care crisis deepens

Most local authorities are not confident that they can meet minimum social care support requirements set in law, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has said.  In its annual Spring Survey, released on 21 June, ADASS said that waiting lists for social care remained far too high and could rise again next winter without more staff.

Although waiting lists had fallen in the aftermath of Covid-19 – standing at 430,000 at the end of March – directors said that many thousands of people continued to deteriorate while waiting for assessments, care or direct payments.

ADASS president Beverley Tarka said: “Our findings show that a short-term funding boost from the government and the hard work social care teams have done to rebuild services after the pandemic is making a difference to thousand of people needing support and care, but we’re not out of the woods yet.  Leaders tell us they are paddling hard to keep up against a tide of increasing and complex needs.”

The National Care Forum (NCF) said that the survey undermined the government’s claim to be investing enough money in social care and highlighted the urgent need for a fully funded social care workforce plan.

NCF chief executive Vic Rayner said the report painted “a worrying picture of high levels of unmet need, increasing acuity of that need and the closure and scaling back of services.”