More than half councils to overspend on adult social care

More than half councils will overspend their adult social care budgets this year by up to £21m each, according to ADASS.

The ADASS survey found local authorities also face having to help pay a potential adult social care bill of almost £270m to fund six years of back pay for sleep-in shifts.

Margaret Willcox, ADASS President, said: “Our latest survey findings should act as a fresh wake-up call to government that adult social care is coming perilously close to becoming unsustainable.

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“The extra £2bn in funding, while welcome, is simply a short-term fix and cannot hide the fact that by the end of this financial year, £6bn has been cut from councils’ adult social care budgets since 2010 – with demand for our services growing all that time.

“This is simply unacceptable and needs to be addressed, not only in the Autumn Budget, but also in the promised consultation on the future of adult social care, because we cannot continue without sufficient and sustainable resources.”

Directors forecast an overspend on adult social care budgets this financial year. The average estimated overspend is £2m, with the highest £20.8m.

More than two-thirds of councils (67%) reported closures in the first five months of the financial year (April to August).

Nursing homes were the hardest services to maintain (52%), followed by home care (46%) and residential homes (20%).

Only 52% of councils believe their agreed delayed transfer of care targets were realistic for both social care and the NHS.

Only 18% of councils were confident (14%) or very confident (4%) that their Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) would deliver its aims.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “The findings of ADASS’s survey reinforce sector-wide warnings that social care faces a perfect storm and in particular, is a reminder of the perilous state of the provider market. It is also notable that nearly half of respondents do not think targets around delayed transfers of care are realistic.

“The survey underlines the urgent need to resolve the short and long-term future of care and it is vital that Government sets out how it plans to address this in the upcoming Autumn Budget.

“We are calling on the Government to intervene and assure councils that they will be given genuinely new money to cover the cost of extending the National Living Wage to sleep-ins.”

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