Two cheers for NHS Confederation survey

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Friday 21st September 2012
Embargo: 00.01hrs, Monday 24th September 2012

Directors of adult social services have broadly welcomed todays survey results from the NHS Confederation concerning social care budgets, but disagree with some of the detail it contains.

According to ADASS President Sarah Pickup, DASSs will unhesitatingly agree that there is currently a shortfall of funding for adult social care and that, without action, this will only get worse. All the demographics point to the fact that an already serious situation is bound to deteriorate over the coming years, she said.

ADASS is also clear that there are still numerous things to be done across the health and social care system to help us all make better use of the public pound, especially by increased joint focus on early intervention, preventative services, and recovery.

But, Mrs Pickup went on, as far as delayed discharges from hospital to home are concerned, it is still the case that more people are delayed by having to wait for ongoing NHS services than by having to wait for social care services.

She also insisted that some transfer of resources from the NHS to social care can be justified when there is a clear payback for the NHS. Despite, and sometimes because of, budget reductions many local authorities are investing in enablement services which will reduce ongoing demand for both social and health care support.

We recognise that the NHS has substantial savings of its own to make to help meet the costs of rising demand and new treatments. But we firmly believe that increasing the spend on preventative, community-based services will reduce high end costs for both health and social care. If, for example, GPs in their new commissioning role can save money on acute hospital admissions by investing in lower level social care services, it is absolutely right that the system should be flexible enough to enable that to happen.

The Association, however, is in full agreement with the Confederation: the costs of funding the recommendations of the Dilnot report should not be taken from health service budgets. As health and care reforms are implemented it is vital that the right levers and incentives are in place to integrate or align services and budgets wherever this will deliver better outcomes or better value.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Sarah Pickup, ADASS President, 01992 556300
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

Editorial Notes

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors of adult social services in local authorities in England. DASSs have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people and adults with disabilities, while over 50 per cent also run social housing departments. ADASS members might also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, library, culture and arts services within their councils.

The Department of Health survey of adult social care 2010/2011 showed that:

* 62% of service users who responded said that they were extremely or very satisfied with the care and support services they receive.

*28% said they were quite satisfied, 7% said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and the remaining 3% said they were dissatisfied.

*26% reported their quality of life was so good, it could not be better or very good.

* 31% reported it was good, and

*33% reported it was alright.

* 10% reported their quality of life was either bad, very bad or so bad it could not be worse

See full results here.