HUMAN COST OF FAILING TO ADDRESS THE CRISIS IN ADULT SOCIAL CARE
This is the 16th annual ADASS Budget Survey: well recognised and much quoted over the years. The report provides data and evidence on the breadth of social care. These are the numbers for those who need numerical evidence of the impact of a lack of any long term funding solution. Our evidence adds to work of CQC, the Health Foundation, the Local Government Association, the NHS Confederation, the King’s Fund, the National Audit Office, the Competition and Markets Authority and many others identifying the crisis in care and support for all of us when we need it. I would like to thank the 150 Directors of Adults Social Services who completed it, the ADASS staff team who managed the process and the analysis and Jane Harris, from Cordis Bright, who drew up this report as part of their partnership agreement with ADASS.
But behind these numbers are the stories of thousands and thousands of older and disabled people and their families. Many get great care and support to live good lives and die good deaths. Too many struggle without help though. Too many struggle without enough help.
Behind these numbers are heroic care staff making an essential difference every minute of every day.
And behind these numbers too are the invidious decisions that social workers, managers and councillors have to make to eke out too little to too many people whose needs are increasing. What of the 98 year old settled in a care home whose savings have run out which is £200 a week more than the council usually pays? What of the council whose stretched budget means there isn’t enough money to enable some people to see anyone for days on end? We applaud the courage of the people of Somerset who shared their stories and the sensitive and skilful work of Alison Holt and the Panorama team in portraying those stories.
This survey reads in part about pessimism about any long term settlement for social care. It reads in part about paralysis in terms of short term funding and not knowing how much might be available this year let alone next. But look closer. The 150 directors who have completed it also show ingenuity in making savings, concern for those of us affected and belief in the potential of work with people in communities and the need to invest in prevention and asset based approaches.
Government must act soon. As we approach the UK’s planned exit from the EU, we call upon ministers and parliamentarians to rise to the challenge of dealing with the most pressing domestic issue of our time. We have had numerous consultations and reports and the options for future funding of social care are well-known. Parliament must agree a cross-party solution and come up with a New Deal for all of us when we need social care.