Prime Minister's statement on care welcomed: 'but much greater scrutiny needed of the small print'
Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Wednesday September 30, 2009
Directors of adult social services have welcomed the Prime Ministers concentration on social care in his speech to the Labour Party Conference, and his commitment to injecting new funds into helping older people live in their own homes for longer if they wish to do so.
ADASS President Jenny Owen said: this is something older people tell us they wish to do, and the social care transformation agenda is aimed very much at helping them achieve those ambitions. The Prime Ministers commitment to these services is a very helpful boost to social care. His emphasis on long term care for people with critical needs, such as dementia and other long-term conditions is particularly good news for all concerned. We all recognise that the costs of services for people with these conditions have been unfairly high.
However, she went on to call for much greater detail on the proposals to provide social care `free to those in the highest need. She said departments of adult services and local government treasurers would need figures in far greater depth than provided in the speech. The large print is something which we can all feel grateful for: the small print, though, still needs much closer analysis.
According to Ms Owen, Older people tell us they want to be supported in their own homes; these are the sorts of services that are best for their families and communities, and they are the sorts of solutions that we most definitely want to help arrange for them.
She emphasised, though, that however exciting the new initiative is in principle, it would need to be looked at carefully to ensure that all the implications both for service delivery and for resources were closely examined between now and implementation date in September next year.
The Department of Health is currently consulting on a Green Paper on the future of social care, looking in depth at the variety of options for funding and delivering services over the coming 20 years, she said. This is clearly a landmark moment in the continuing debate about how social care for vulnerable adults is to be funded, and how those funds should be spent.
However grateful we feel for the Prime Ministers intervention in this process there are still many questions both unasked and unanswered for any clear sense of direction to be taken from his words alone. However ADASS will work closely with the DH to help put these ideas into action.
For further information contact
Jenny Owen, ADASS President, 01245 434806
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755