Breaking the silence on the future of social care

ADASS, together with organisations speaking for more than 10m people who have care and support needs, are calling on ministers to break their silence on the future of social care.

The alliance says that the coronavirus crisis has laid bare the fragilities of the social care system in England after 25 years of failure by successive governments to put it on a sustainable footing.

ADASS said, after the chancellor said nothing about social care in his budget, there is now an urgent need for clarity about the way forward.

The alliance is calling on the government to immediately extend and increased funding from April to stabilise the care system and ensure continued provision of high-quality services and support, meet the continuing costs of Covid-19 and provide relief and respite for exhausted family carers and care workers.

It is also asking the government to commit to the publication of promised proposals to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’ before the summer parliamentary recess.

This will give MPs the opportunity during the recess to hear from their constituents about the care and support they want for themselves and their families.

James Bullion, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: ‘With little more than two weeks to go until the new financial year, there is still no news of what funding will be available for care and support and for our care workers who have responded so magnificently throughout the coronavirus crisis.

‘We were bitterly disappointed that social care was not mentioned in the chancellor’s budget statement. We are calling on the government to put that right and offer real hope of a way forward for more than 10 million of us who draw on social care or work to provide it.

‘This government has the chance to end 25 years of indecision over social care and create a historic legacy. We are urging it to seize that chance now.’

Chief executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), Kathryn Smith, said: ‘We have joined with a number of other organisations in order to express our disappointment that social care funding was not prioritised in the budget.

‘The government’s promise to fix social care must be fulfilled so that the reform that the sector badly needs is prioritised.

‘Sticking plaster funding is not the answer. A sustained increase in funding is needed now to stabilise the care system, particularly with the impact of Covid-19; we call on the government to publish its proposals for the future of adult social care before the summer parliamentary recess.’

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: ‘Social care has been on the frontline throughout the pandemic, with every part of the care and support system experiencing intense pressure over the past year.

‘Emergency funding for social care to date has been helpful, but it is essential this is extended beyond the end of this month to prevent any immediate impact on people’s care and health support.

‘We also need a clear plan for the future of adult social care, to address both immediate and short-term pressures, but also how we fund and pay for this vital service in the long-term.

‘We reiterate our call for the government to urgently bring forward its proposals for the future of adult social care as soon as possible, to let people live the lives they want to lead.’

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said in 2020/21 the government has invested more than £1.4bn specifically in adult social care, on top of the £4.6bn made available to local authorities to address the additional pressures on public services including adult social care.

The spokesman said DHSC has also provided free PPE and increased staff testing to identify new cases and protect residents in care homes.

‘We have provided billions of pounds to support adult social care during the pandemic including on infection and prevention control measures, free PPE, priority vaccinations and additional testing.

‘Funding remains in place to support the tireless efforts of social care staff on the frontline of this pandemic and we are actively reviewing the need for further funding and decisions will be made in due course.

‘Delivering a care system that is fit for the future remains a top priority and we will bring forward proposals for social care later this year.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay


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