Tuesday 8 July 2014 

Directors of Adult social services have today re-affirmed their determination to work jointly with the NHS and other agencies to secure better care outcomes for the available money.

But, in the wake of a government decision to put further conditions on the Better Care Fund (BCF) they have warned that the management of part of the Fund will move us further away from a model which balances clear expectations from Government with local ability to make them happen (See DH News July 5 2014 http://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=2863&d=tr-60xMX70NXh9DSKKnUerPJZLcktYOCHnlzSdfrIA&u=http%3a%2f%2fbit%2ely%2f1mZeNTc).

According to ADASS President David Pearson: “We are disappointed that the local discretion which was at the heart of the BCF has been eroded, and that the social care indicators - generic to the conditions originally built into the Fund and which brought our services centre stage - have been removed or pushed into the background.

“This sends an unequivocal message that saving the NHS money and reducing demands on the health services take a clear priority. We believe that joined up care can only work with a range of incentives which help to build an approach which is centred around people's needs.

" We are enthusiastic supporters of the Better Care Fund as a way of making sure that all parts of the health and social care system are working together to improve services and make best use of money in the most difficult financial circumstances. This at a time when, as our survey showed last week, social care departments are facing an unprecedented 26 per cent cut in their budgets in the past fours years – a total of £3.52 billion.

“Of course we all know that while NHS services have been protected they are facing increasing demands on their budgets as demand rises. We are concerned that any reduction in the funding of social care as a result of this change will only serve to make this situation worse by leading to more cuts in social care.”

"In many parts of the country, the Better Care Fund has generated greater innovation and partnership between the NHS and local government than we have ever seen before. The proposed changes feel like a step back. But it is time to break the cycle of the past, and to have the courage to make care closer to home a reality rather than an aspiration.

Mr Pearson went on: “We must make sure that the newly-created Health and Wellbeing Boards led by councillors and doctors, which were designed to be at the centre of care-related local decision making, are given the opportunity to work with local people to shape new services.”

He finished by emphasising social care’s commitment to integrated and joint working, operating from a mutually agreed and sustainable financial basis, “as being the only sound basis upon which people with care and health needs can get the proper, seamless services they need and deserve.”

 

ENDS

 

Forfurther information contact:

David Pearson, ADASS President, 0115 977 4636

Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 07976 837755

 

Editorial Notes

TheAssociation of Directors of Adult Social Services(ADASS) represents directors and senior managers of adult social servicesdepartments in English local authorities. Directors (DASSs) have statutoryresponsibilities for the social care of older people, adults with disabilities andadults with mental health needs.

Inmany authorities ADASS members will also share a number of responsibilities forthe provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, libraries, culture, andcommunity safety on behalf of their councils. More than a third of DASSs arealso the statutory director of children’s services for their authority.