A national emergency for social care - ADASS’s plea to the public

Care, support and safeguards ensure that all of us can live the lives we want to live. Adult social care is all about people – the millions of people who are unpaid carers, the 1.5 million people who are paid to deliver vital care and support, and most importantly the older and disabled people and their carers who need that care and support.    

Despite phenomenal increases in the amount care delivered in recent months, more is needed than there are care givers to deliver it. This means that excruciatingly painful choices are being made about who gets support and how much. It means deciding between helping someone to get out of bed and ensuring they are able to eat and drink during the day. This situation is getting worse by the hour as more and more staff go off sick or isolate because of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.  Given that the Government has not announced any further restrictions over recent days, we are appealing to people to do the right thing.


Reflecting on the profound challenges posed by Omicron, Stephen Chandler, ADASS president, said: 

“Even before Covid-19 and Omicron, adult social care was struggling with severe funding and workforce challenges. Staff absences due to the rapid spread of Omicron and the need to self-isolate now mean that there are not enough pairs of hands to provide care for everyone who needs it.  Every day we are rationing care in ways that we never have before. We are making incredibly difficult decisions about who gets care, how much care they get and who misses out - with obvious concerns that this will lead to people becoming isolated and, ultimately, to the loss of lives. 


“This is now a national emergency for social care and we need your help to limit the spread of Omicron and to make lives bearable for people over the coming weeks. You can do this by taking a number of small, but important steps.  


“Please stay at home as much as you can, unless you are providing care and support. If you are able, please provide care and support for family members who need it. Take time to check on neighbours and offer any support you can. Volunteer with your local council and charities to assist support efforts. Keep social activities and social contacts to a minimum.  And please take up the offer of vaccine and booster jabs as soon as possible. 


“Please play your part in keeping yourselves, your families and your communities safe.”  





The Association of Directors of Adults Social Services is a charity. Our members are current and former directors of adult care or social services and their senior staff. Our objectives include:
  • Furthering comprehensive, equitable, social policies and plans which reflect and shape the economic and social environment of the time;
  • Furthering the interests of those who need social care services regardless of their backgrounds and status;
  • Promoting high standards of social care services.

For any follow up to the statement above, please contact:
Dr Phil McCarvill
ADASS Deputy Chief Officer
07919 483214

To organise an interview with our Chief Executive or a Trustee
Letizia Mattanza
ADASS Strategic Comms Lead
07771 590860