Foreword (full report available to download below)
The annual ADASS Budget Survey is an authoritative analysis of the state of adult social care finances drawn from the experiences of current leaders in adult social care. It provides in-depth intelligence on how adult social care is responding to the multiple challenges of meeting increased expectations and need, whilst managing reducing resources in an environment where the provider and labour markets are fragile.
The survey explores Directors’ views of how councils are reconciling the growing numbers of people, often with increasingly complex needs, requiring care and support with the significant and sustained reductions in the funding available. The survey data clearly sets out the concerns of councils in making increasingly difficult choices and their attempts to minimise impacts upon the front line services that are so valued and necessary for those needing them.
In that the Survey is widely used by others in the social care field, it also highlights how social care funding impacts on people needing care and support and their families and carers, providers and the NHS.
Further to last year’s budget survey, which ADASS framed as ‘a call to government to protect vital care and support services for the most vulnerable members of our community’, 2015 saw a Spending Review and Local Government Finance Settlement in which the pressures on adult social care were recognised as never before.
However, whilst there is additional funding for care through the availability of a locally raised precept and in the future there will be a new Better Care Fund, we have argued strongly, with our partners across the sector, that the funding comes too little and too late. The results of this survey confirm this view.
The survey was completed prior to the European Referendum and I have no doubt that the serious concerns about the delivery of vital care and support for older and disabled people that the report highlights will now be compounded by further uncertainty. The survey has been completed by 100% of councils and I am extremely grateful to all of my colleague Directors of Adult Social Services in England for their support and contribution to this important work and to the ADASS Resources Leads and the ADASS Staff Team for coordinating and producing this report. I would also like to express my thanks to the King’s Fund who have assisted with the analysis of the data.
President Association of Directors of Adult Social Services