ADASS Spring Budget Survey results

July 19, 2022

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has published its Spring Survey 2022, which describes the financial and operating state of adult social care services in England.

ADASS is warning that the year ahead will be the most challenging adult social care and the people needing and working in it have ever faced.

Directors report increases in care needs, with 87% saying more people are seeking support because of mental health issues, 67% are seeing more people because of domestic abuse and safeguarding concerns.

Of equal concern, 73% of directors report rising numbers of cases of breakdown of unpaid carer arrangements. Directors are also receiving more and more requests for support because of pressures elsewhere in health and care:

  • 82% report increased referrals of people discharged from hospital.
  • 74% are recording more referrals and requests for support from the community.
  • 51% are recording more referrals and requests because of the lack of other services in the community.
  • Almost seven in 7 in 10 directors say that care providers in their area have closed, ceased trading or handed back contracts to local councils. Many more cannot deliver the increased care and support needed due to staffing shortfalls.

Existing challenges of rising requests for support, increasing complexity of care required, fragile care markets, and underpaid, undervalued and overstretched workforce, risks being compounded by the current cost of living crisis. People who need care and support, unpaid carers, and those who work in adult social care are amongst the most exposed.

This picture has profound implications for people who need care and support today, those who will need support this winter, and our chances of providing the type of care and support we all want in the future.

Cathie Williams, ADASS’s Chief Executive said, ‘Our health and social care services are in jeopardy. Without immediate and substantial help from the government, we face the most difficult winter we have ever experienced during which more people will miss out on vital care, others will wait longer for support and choice and quality will decline still further.

‘Measures so far to ‘fix’ social care simply do not address the scale of current funding and workforce challenges and are crying out for a long-term, properly funded plan.’

In response to its publication, Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) said, ‘The ADASS Spring Survey confirms what we have been telling government for some time – that the current funding for care and support services is pushing people’s social care services to the brink. Increasing levels of unmet need, mounting workforce pressures, and a failure by government to provide sufficient financial resources all contribute to the bleak picture painted by Directors of adult social care services today.’

In relation to how the costs are impacting learning disability providers, Dr Rhidian Hughes said, ‘Chief executives of disability charities are telling me that the soaring financial costs of provision are not being matched by funding local authorities. This is all having a direct impact on services, and it is the people who draw on, or who are in need of social care, whose lives will be disproportionately affected.

‘The recommendations thoughtfully laid out by ADASS are all achievable and are backed by the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group. Today, central government can choose to make a difference to the lives of people who draw on social care and adopt these recommendations.’

Visit the ADASS website to read the report on the Spring Budget survey in full.

In other news, The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has updated its guidance offering support and advice for residential and care settings during heatwaves.

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