8.6 million reasons for acting NOW

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Tuesday 7th February 2012
Embargo: 00.01hrs, Wednesday 8th February 2012

Todays report from the House of Commons Health Select Committee underlines the absolute necessity of providing a solution to the problems of a broken social care system as rapidly and as conclusively as possible. According to ADASS President Peter Hay nearly nine million older people in England are looking to Government and Opposition parties to provide a greater measure of security and assurance in their declining years than currently may be the case.

ADASS particularly welcomes the Select Committees acceptance of the Dilnot Commissions recommendations on the future of care funding and its view that the integration of social care and health can deliver real benefits to people who use multiple services across the health and care systems. This, alongside its belief that integration is an essential tool in delivering quality and efficiency in the public sector, is an important re-emphasis of the ADASS position.

However, Peter Hay stressed that integration should only follow a clear, unambiguous and easily understood reform of the social care system its funding, its functions and its legal grounding. It is quite clear that in order to maximise the available resources the economic and demographic pressures we face demand a realignment of social care, welfare and health services, he warned.

ADASS also welcomed the Committees acceptance of the funding gap in social care; its recognition of the importance of carers, and its determination that Health and Wellbeing Boards should be a major tool in future commissioning arrangements. We agree with the Committee that more recognition of some of these issues could have formed a greater part of the current Health and Social Care Bill an omission which puts an even greater onus on the forthcoming White Paper on social care.

Peter Hay concluded: All of us in the social care sector are acutely aware of the ongoing cross-party talks on Dilnot and care funding. And we do appreciate the depth and extent of political and economic thinking which has informed them. Politicians do not need the sector to remind them of how imperative it is that a sustainable solution is found quickly for the sake of those 8.6 million older people, throughout England, who are seeking clarity over the balance of responsibilities for their social care between the state on the one hand, and themselves and their carers on the other.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Peter Hay, ADASS President, 0121 303 2992
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.