Responding to the announcement by the Health and Social Care Secretary on the social care green paper, Margaret Willcox, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said:

“ADASS will do everything in its power to ensure that this green paper delivers on our shared objectives to deliver person-centred care, and we call on the Government, the NHS, social care providers and all our partners within our sector to do everything they can to do so as well. The millions of people who depend on effective social care are depending on us to seize this opportunity and get this right.

“Those of us in the front line of social care know the quality of our staff and that they have been out in all weathers, working tirelessly in challenging circumstances to make sure that we get the care we need when we are in vulnerable circumstances What they desperately need is for their departments to be adequately funded and resourced so that they can do their jobs. So, whilst it’s positive the Adult Social Care Green Paper will look at the adult social care workforce, we must be clear - the challenges social care teams face are happening to our communities now, and urgent and interim funding is needed to address this shortfall right away.

“It’s also essential we move as a country towards actively planning for social care needs, and tailoring care so that it is centred around the person. We need a system that pro-actively plans with an ageing population for the challenges ahead – which means switching from treating people at hospital when a crisis has developed, to supporting people who need social care and enabling it to allow people to live healthy lives for as long as possible in their homes and communities. It is gratifying to see the Health and Social Care Secretary make moves towards the approach of personalised care budgets, which we have advocated for a number of years. Making the planning and management of health and social care easier for the individual is the key test for any new measures.

“Whilst the moves announced today are key steps in that direction, only adequately resourcing care teams across the country, effective communication and support for both provider and recipients will ensure that they provide the person-centred care that we need. With a social care funding shortfall of over £2 billion by 2020, we must work towards a long-term, sustainable funding solution to make sure that social care goes from being something we don’t like to think about needing to something that we actively plan for. This is an opportunity to address the issues facing social care funding once and for all, and deliver the tailored, person-centred care that we know can make a huge difference to our residents and communities.”