Wednesday 26 February 2014

ADASS President Sandie Keene said this week that the Association and its members `fully support' concerns expressed by MPs and charities alike who are calling today for an impact assessment of a number of controversial initiatives taken within welfare policy over the past few years. Mrs Keene said that ADASS's broad support of the proposals in the WOW-petition inspired debate, to be held today in Parliament, reflected its members close contact with vulnerable people and the issues which face them on a daily basis.   Directors fully understand the impact that reductions in social services spending has had upon them. We said nearly a year ago that the situation was bleak, and getting bleaker. Nothing has been done or said since to alter that judgement. We are fully aware that government recognises the pressures as well as we do, and so far as adult social care is concerned has sought to ameliorate the impact of its measures." She went on: But we have been acutely conscious that the people we have responsibilities for have been affected by financial measures which go far beyond social care spending. Although we might take issue with some measures and analyses being put forward in today's debate,  the overall thrust to encourage government to take stock of their benefits measures is one with which we completely sympathise.

ENDS

For further information, and for full copies of the statement, contact
Drew Clode, Policy and Media Adviser, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, 020 8348 5023/ 07976 837755
Victoria Daly, Senior media relations officer, Local Government Association, 020 7664 3308

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 childrens services for their authority.

The full text of the proposal for debate

"That this House calls on the Government to commission an independent cumulative assessment of the impact of changes in the welfare system on sick and disabled people, their families and carers, drawing upon the expertise of the Work and Pensions Select Committee; requests that this impact assessment examine care home admissions, access to day care centres, access to education for people with learning difficulties, provision of universal mental health treatments, closures of Remploy factories, the Governments contract with Atos Healthcare, IT implementation of universal credit, human rights abuses against disabled people, excess deaths of welfare claimants and the disregard of medical evidence in decision-making by Atos, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Tribunals Service; urges the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Education jointly to launch a consultation on improving support into work for sick and disabled people; and further calls on the Government to end with immediate effect the work capability assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association, to discontinue forced work under the threat of sanctions for people on disability benefits and to bring forward legislative proposals to allow a free vote on repeal of the Welfare Reform Act 2012."