The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has published the first part of its annual Budget Survey, this year focusing on COVID-19.
The survey offers significant insight into the response from adult social care to the coronavirus pandemic.
It states that, 'Adult social care was rendered ill-equipped and under-resourced to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic by the failure of successive governments of all political colours...to put the people who need and work in it at the forefront.'
It argues that the focus on freeing-up hospital beds came at a huge cost, saying that prioritising PPE and testing for hospitals and treating care homes as 'an afterthought' was 'not right', continuing, 'A focus on rapid discharge when there were shortages of PPE, questions about testing and the ability to isolate people in social care meant that some people ended up in the wrong place to meet their needs and with insufficient community support or reablement to help them get home. We must change our approach.'
James Bullion, President of ADASS said, ‘The results of the survey paint a vivid picture of the devastating effect of COVID-19 upon millions of us. Those who have died prematurely, those who have had to grieve in isolation, those who have been discharged from hospital without the right assessment, those who have been unable to access community-based services, those who are isolated or shielding, those requiring safeguarding, those experiencing mental health or addiction crises, those experiencing domestic violence, and/or exploitation, and those who work in adult social care.
‘The Government must ensure that social care is never again left exposed to a pandemic. This starts by protecting those of us with care and support needs from the current and subsequent waves of COVID-19 and extends to ensuring social care is at the centre of all future emergency planning and preparation.
‘Whilst the wider population may be moving out of the coronavirus peak, COVID-19 will be with older and disabled people for a very long time. Easing the lockdown is about more than opening doors it is about unlocking people’s lives – restoring care and support, assessing needs, preparing for the inevitable surge in demand for care and enabling us all to live our lives again.
‘Learning the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government must seize the opportunity to reform and reset social care as part of the wider post COVID-19 recovery.'
The full ADASS COVID-19 Budget Survey can be viewed on the ADASS website.