More social care cuts on the way

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A survey of adult social care services directors in England has warned that more cuts will have to be made despite extra funding being ploughed into the sector.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) research reveals councils are having to make 8% cuts in their budgets for a second year running due to increasing costs and demand.

The cuts come despite an increase in proportion of council spending on adult social care of 1.3 percentage points from 35.6% to 36.9% in 2017/18.

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Directors plan to make further savings of £824m in 2017/18, taking cumulative savings in adult social care since 2010 to £6.3bn.

Only 31% of respondents were fully confident that planned savings for 2017/18 will be met, falling to 7% in 2019/20.

Margaret Willcox, President of ADASS, said: “With providers continuing to close or return contracts back to councils, more people are struggling to access the care they need and depend on. To help remedy this worrying situation, the new Government needs to tackle the chronic underfunding of adult social care which still remains on a cliff edge.”

Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England, commented: “ADASS’s Budget Survey echoes what our members have been telling us, the extra funding from Government is not reaching the front line. Without this funding combined with a long term commitment from the Government the social care sector, for adults and older people, will simply combust. Commissioners and providers need to sit down together to discuss the sufficiency of an individual’s care package, rather than this being set as part of an arbitrary standard price.”

“The country needs clarity on social care and cannot afford to wait for more commissions, inquiries or Green Papers. The care crisis is happening now.  We need a long term vision built on the previous reports commissioned by Government. Such a vision needs to be lead by a Ministerial team that is equivalent in status to those that look after the NHS and thus provide more clarity about the partnership between the state and the individual in terms of funding.”

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