DIRECTORS OF ADULT SOCIAL services have stressed along with the UKHCA that it is important for those people who receive care and support to have well-trained and motivated care workers who are paid appropriately for the important work they do.  

In response to today’s report*, ADASS President David Pearson said: “Each local authority should work with providers to establish between themselves the costs of care. This must take into account the local economic environment, so that fees are consistent with the expectations of an improving social care market.”

He added: “From April this year the Care Act will be implemented and will require councils to ensure that the fee levels which are set should enable the delivery of agreed care packages of the agreed quality of care. This includes ensuring  providers are enabled to pay at least the minimum wage and provide effective training and development of staff.”

An important ingredient of that requirement will be that local authorities must understand the cost of care. And providers must quote realistic prices when they are seeking to gain a contract from the local authority to deliver services.

Mr Pearson went on: “The report rightly calls for governments to ensure that there is sufficient funding to enable local authorities to pay the appropriate fee levels. Social care in England has been required to make savings of 26 per cent (£3.5 billion) over the last four years as needs in our communities are rising. We also believe that on current trends, social care will be underfunded to the tune of £4.3 billion by 2020.

“The cost of an average rise of £2 an hour to meet the UKHCA costing model would be a total cost of £342 million – a sum which, should we pay it now, would require us to make very serious further cuts in parts of the adult social care service.”  

According to Mr Pearson, both parties to the commissioning/providing divide have a common duty and interest in ensuring that older people who wish to remain, supported, in their own homes get high standards of care. “An increased emphasis on personalisation and self-directed care, as well as the new duties within the Care Act will enjoin a new and richer transparency between adult social care, and home care providers.  

“With open minds, joint commitment and open books we will be able, alongside our provider colleagues, to understand more deeply the financial mechanics of the home care industry and provide as much help as we can in ensuring that appropriate levels of pay are awarded to appropriately trained staff.”

ENDS

 

For further information contact
David Pearson, President, 0115 977 4636
Drew Clode, 020 8348 5023 mob: 07976 837755

Editorial Notes

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors and senior managers of adult social services departments in English local authorities. Directors (DASSs) have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people, adults with disabilities and adults with mental health needs.

In many authorities ADASS members will also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, libraries, culture, and community safety on behalf of their councils. More than a third of DASSs are also the statutory director of children’s services for their authority.

 

Taking the UKHCA report of an average cost of £13.77 per hour, to then reach the UKHCA target cost of £15.74 local authorities would have to (on average) uplift the price paid by £2.00 per hour. In 2013/14  local authorities contracted out 171.2 million hours of homecare (Health & Social Care Information Centre).

 

An uplift of that magnitude would require additional funding of £342.2 million – at a time of budget reductions

Savings over the past four years have involved 12 per cent cash reductions and 14 per cent due to increasing needs and demographic pressures.

  * The Homecare Deficit, UKHCA, March 2015