Distinctive, Valued, Personal: Why Social Care Matters - The Next Five Years
Social care provides care, support, and safeguards for those people in our communities who have the highest level of need and for their carers. Good care and support transforms lives, helping people to live good lives, or the best they can, in a variety of circumstances. It enhances health and wellbeing, increasing independence, choice and control. It is distinctive, valued, and personal. An independent YouGov poll indicates that 1 in 3 people either receive or are in touch with social care services. The same poll indicated that adult social care was the area in which the public would most like to see additional government investment, apart from the NHS. 2015 is an important time for adult social care services in England. We are living longer, which is a success story of our age that we should celebrate – but it has profound consequences for the kind of care and health services we need in the future. There is not enough funding for social care and it has been reducing in real terms. The funding gap is estimated to reach £4.3 billion by 2020. More people are living longer; there are more people with disabilities who need care and support. Fewer and fewer of them are receiving public funding. This needs to be addressed. We need adequately funded models of care that align – and re-design - care and health services effectively. We urge politicians to act to meet the significant growth in the volume and complexity of needs faced by generations that rightly expect to lead longer more fulfilled lives.
President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services