EMBARGO: 00.01, Wednesday 14th November, 2018
CONTACT: ADASS Media Office, 020 7664 3239



Austerity has not ended for older and disabled people with the undervaluing of adult social care continuing to have a detrimental impact on them, their families and communities, warns the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

In a speech to the National Children and Adults Services Conference (NCASC) in Manchester today, ADASS President Glen Garrod will say austerity reducing care and support for older and disabled people has “gone too far” and that “the consequences on individuals and their families are not sufficiently well understood”.

Mr Garrod will also warn that it is “looking like government…seek to use social care as a pressure valve, simply to ease the burdens on the acute NHS.” This just makes things worse, as without social care people need more healthcare.

He will say: “We in social care know it is about so much more; it is about encouraging people to live independent lives and be an active part of their communities.” 

Mr Garrod will also argue that social care must continue to make the case for work for practitioners “to be really proud about” and “build on the successes of colleagues”.

This comes as an ADASS snap survey reveals directors have serious concerns about whether the funding available will be enough to enable them to meet their legal duties to provide care and support for older and disabled people.

It found nearly nine in 10 directors of adult social care services are either partly or not confident in meeting their legal duties relating to market sustainability by the end of 2019/20. This is where councils are required to make sure there is  sufficient choice of quality care homes and home care available to meet people’s needs.

Meanwhile around three quarters of directors had partial or no confidence in meeting legal duties around prevention and wellbeing, and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

The survey has also found that on average each council will overspend their adult social care budget by almost £900,000 in 2018/19, a total of £136 million overall, due to the chronic underinvestment in adult social care.

Mr Garrod will say: “I am worried – very worried - that a small but growing number of colleagues are finding their role almost impossible. 

“The role is demanding enough and as the ADASS annual survey and the recent Autumn snap survey revealed - my fellow directors’ confidence at maintaining statutory services is increasingly becoming the exception.

“This is an untenable position when the lack of money means services decline, standards reduce, and risks to people increase.”

The Government recently announced some interim funding for adult social care, which ADASS campaigned for, but this is to be divided between children’s care and other departments. It is woefully inadequate.

ADASS has repeatedly called for the Government to bring forward a long-term funding solution for adult social care. The £20.5 billion increase in funding for the NHS is more than is spent on adult social care in an entire year. There are choices. The Government’s upcoming green paper on adult social care must include forward social justice and the moral obligation we have to those of us who are older and disabled though long-term funding solutions.


  1. Full details of the ADASS Snap Survey, launched to coincide with the National Children and Adult’s Social Services Conference, are available on request.
  2. Glen Garrod’s full speech to NCASC is available on request. More details on NCASC, which is taking place this week in Manchester and discusses the core issues facing children’s and adult’s social care, is available here.