In his first ADASS video, David Pearson talks to Stephen Sloss ADASS associate about the major issues facing social care and ADASS.

With growing interest in social care across the country, David explains how there is a rising interest in the quality of social care provision as we approach a general election next year.  A recent YouGov Poll cites one in three people having contact with social care services and 21 million people are in touch with people who have Alzheimers.  Social care has never been more relevant as increasing numbers in society are concerned about quality care services.

David talks about how the Care Act is built upon good principles: people’s wellbeing, personalising services and joining up health and social care around people’s needs.  The care act has widespread support across the care and health sector from professionals, service users and carers.  It extends provision for carers in terms of assessments and services.  It articulates the need for prevention, early intervention, better advice and information.  The Act places safeguarding on a statutory footing for the first time and by 2016 and 2017 the Act will extend the responsibilities of the state to support more people with social care needs.

David explains how directors of adult social services are worried about the funding of social care.  After fours years of budget reductions amounting to a 26% decline of £3.5billion there is concern that people who might need services in the future may not be able to access them. In addition there is concern that the quality of services could decline and as some providers fall into financial difficulties with attendant legal challenges the pressures may make it more difficult for social care to support the NHS with its pressures.  

Local government is in the 4th year of budget reductions.  A 43% of reduction in the rate support grant to local authorities will impact not only upon adult social care but also children’s services and other essential services. As adult social care has gone from 30% to 35% of local authority expenditure, David recognises the way local authorities have tried to protect adult social care.  With calm conviction David warns there is a limit about how far this situation can be allowed to go.

The future of social care belongs in the joining up of social care with health and other public services.  It is what ADASS is good at, joining and coordinating care around people’s needs in a personalised way.  David also underlined the importance of the Better Care Fund and integrating personal commissioning to enable the important integration agenda.

David expresses his hope that the Care Act offers up an opportunity for a better health and care system, fit for the 21st. century.  It’s an opportunity to build a better system, even in these challenging times.  

With this, it is fantastic that this year’s conference is a sell out. So many people want to come and hear about the latest policy initiatives and understand how they can make a difference in their local communities.

David is hopeful that the conference will inspire people and give them confidence to take their leadership to a new level back in their local authorities and communities.