A Local Government Association (LGA) survey of councillors shows councils are concerned about the growing pressure facing social care. The capacity and financial resources required to deliver the Government’s reform agenda is also a concern, reports the LGA.
The survey found that lead members for adult care have serious concerns over the deliverability of the imminent adult social care reforms within the current climate and to the current timescale, with many concerned that crucial council services may be negatively impacted to afford the reforms.
According to the LGA, this joins growing evidence from across the health and care sector of the growing pressure facing adult social care and the need for urgent new investment to deliver much-needed care so that people can live an equal lives.
A survey from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) published this week found that as of 30 April 2022 more than 540,000 people were waiting for assessments, care, Direct Payments, or adult social care reviews, an increase of 37 per cent in just six months. The NHS Confederation said in a recent statement that NHS leaders were 'sounding the alarm' on social care and called for a 'rescue package' for the sector.
These issues are further evidenced by the Levelling Up Committee’s report into long term funding for adult social care, the LGA states, which recommended £7bn of further funding for social care reducing the reliance on council tax to fund adult social care, a re-evaluation and regular monitoring of the impact of charging reforms as well top-up funding.
The LGA has previously warned that underfunded reforms run the serious risk of exacerbating significant ongoing financial and workforce pressures, including significant vacancy rates across the sector. Unless action is taken and government rethinks its plans, people who draw on care may experience reductions in quality and availability of care and support services.
Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board. said, 'Something must be done now to support councils, care providers and people who draw on care.
'Social care’s lack of capacity to deliver the care that people need has been evidenced time and time again and the Government needs to step in. If it doesn’t, we can expect one of the most challenging winters in recent times, with knock-on effects that will continue to impact on people and their loved ones.
'The reforms to the sector as they currently stand will make services worse rather than better if pushed through without the correct time and resource. Our survey found that 86 per cent of lead members think that some or all the reforms should be delayed, and in response to these findings we have written to the Secretary of State with our requests of reasonable adjustments to the timetable of implementation and to stress the unavoidable relationship between unfunded reforms and increased pressure on an already over-stretched system.'