11.00 am JULY 4, 2011

Directors of adult social services have welcomed 'without reservation' today's report of the Commission led by Andrew Dilnot into the funding of adult social care in England. According to ADASS President Peter Hay, the report "signals what will become the moment when adult social care was put on a footing to become fit for purpose in the twenty first century.

In a speech given at the launch of the report, Peter Hay concentrated on three issues which, he said, should be paramount in the report?s first phase.

* The continuing pressures flowing from the current economic and financial situation should not crowd out the case for reform that Dilnot and his colleagues have so successfully made.

The current government bravely set up Dilnot at a time, 12 months ago, when it knew we were heading for a period of political as well as financial turbulence. They must have weighed those risks, and still thought, even then, that answering the questions they asked Dilnot to address should transcend the difficult political/economic context in which they were being set.

* The sector should build on the unity achieved during the run-up to Dilnot and maintain it in the coming months while discussion and informed debate lead towards the promised Parliamentary timetable. Health, local authorities and the wider voluntary sector all have a stake in ensuring that the best outcomes are achieved from Dilnot.

All the signs are ? despite a whole industry seemingly being set up to suggest otherwise ? that politicians of all parties are preparing to work towards an agreement over an affordable and sustainable settlement of the adult social care crisis that confronts us.

* The system which has been built up over many years by the hard work and ingenuity of so many hundreds of thousands of dedicated caring staff is capable of repair even though it needs re-gearing and rearticulating. He said ?We may be working in a broken system and we may face many challenges which won't disappear simply with the publication of a report.

?But social care is a system worth the repair - it has the ability to change lives. I don't just want assurance that what waits for my old age is a guarantee of basic standards. I want to know that I will be supported and enabled to add quality to the gift of long life expectancy.?


Peter Hay?s pre-Dilnot blog

For further information contact:
Peter Hay, ADASS President, 0121 303 2992
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

* For the full text of the speech Peter Hay will give at the Dilnot launch, see below

Editorial Note


Directors of adult social care warmly welcome the substantial answers given by the commission to the tough questions of how we should organise and pay for care. ADASS fully supports the recommendations made.  We especially welcome the call to simplify social care, to improve public understanding and to develop greater consistency in funding care across the country.

We take no pleasure from being leaders of a broken system.  With carers and citizens we aspire to better.  Consequently we will nurture the ideas in this report so that they have every chance to grow into the promise of reform.  We are today making three commitments to build the debate upon the commission?s work.

Firstly, if we are to improve public understanding, the sector must have common voice in describing solutions.  ADASS is committed to working with the wider care and health sector towards holding a more informed public debate and we want to develop our shared readiness for reform.

Secondly, we welcome the clarity of the connection made by the commission between reform and resources.  As the report spells out, the shortfalls in funding go well beyond current reductions.  ADASS will not allow noisy obsessions with cuts in funding to obscure the deep-rooted nature of the changes needed in the resources identified for care.  Social care must get the answers to the questions: who pays?  And how much?  We will hold reform and resources as entwined ? to steal a phrase, nothing about one without the other!

Finally, we believe that this report makes clear that social care is a system worth the repair.  As directors, we know that despite the fault lines, we see great outcomes in the lives of people day in day out.  Our ambitions for reform are driven by the knowledge of what more could be done to support people live the lives they choose.

Great social care is also dynamic; like the commissioners we want to build in the imaginative preventative work of recent years.  We are attracted to the commission?s offer of financial peace of mind and need to match it with assurance of the experience of care.  I want to know that I will be supported by a system that adds quality to the gift of long life expectancy.  ADASS will continue to develop consistent and transparent standards in our care, but we also need to turn up the volume about the good work the sector does and why we are worth reform.

To conclude, the reform of care is urgent: its of its time and its also of us.  My grandmother paid for her care with all of her assets.  This isn?t a debate for spectators.  We are all participants now, all seized with the knowledge that there is better than a broken system, and soon, if completed with the ambitious outline timescale.  Andrew and the team have offered a compelling vision for reform and resources.  Just as the report was thorough in listening to the sector, so we now owe it to the commission to build upon their report.  ADASS will give all its professional energy and support to develop the debate in order to try to secure the prize of a sustainable care system fit for our times.

Peter Hay
Monday, 04 July 2011