Responding to a Age UK report on ‘care deserts’ and the state of the adult social care market, Julie Ogley, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said:

“We need a vibrant care market which gives people choice and control over their lives. As this report demonstrates, the market is becoming increasingly fragile and failing in some parts of the country.

“In our budget survey last year, nearly a third of adult social care directors said they have seen care home providers closing or ceasing to trade over a six-month period, affecting 3,290 people, and almost as many had seen contracts handed back, impacting on 2,679 people. Nearly 80 per cent of our members said that they are concerned about their ability to meet their statutory duty to ensure market sustainability within their existing budgets.

“The majority of social care is provided by small and medium sized enterprises. We have previously raised concerns about the lack of clarity and transparency of some of the larger care providers on who controls the purse strings and makes the decisions about expenditure.

“What is desperately needed from government is a long-term, sustainable funding solution for adult social care, which would also help to recruit and retain our valued and skilled 1.5 million strong workforce.”