'Prepare for adult social care to get worse before it gets better' - ADASS President
Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Wednesday 6th July 2011
Embargo: 00.01 hrs Thursday 7th July 2011
That was the stark message given to senior health service personnel today as the social care sector digested the reactions to this week's report of the Dilnot Commission into funding and supporting adult care.
Speaking at the annual conference of the NHS Confederation, ADASS President Peter Hay revealed the details of a straw poll conducted by the Association close on the heels of a survey undertaken earlier this year which showed that nearly £1 billion was due to be taken out of social care budgets in the current financial year (April 2011 - March 2012).
Initial findings from the new poll, carried out in June 2011, show that, although significant variations will occur across the country* slightly more than £1 billion of savings are due to be made by local authority adult social care departments next year - between April 2012 to March 2013.
According to Peter Hay: "There will a very wide range of financial experience next year. Some authorities will not see large cuts at all. But some authorities are going to be hit very hard indeed without having at their disposal some of the important mechanisms they traditionally have to help alleviate the pressures."
The survey is not all bad news. It shows that where additional funds have been due to be transferred to local authorities from the NHS, it has been duly transferred. The key point, however, of the work done by ADASS is to highlight the fact that this money is perhaps not being used for radical enough changes.
According to Mr Hay: "This backs the core message from NHS Confed about the need to rally behind tough and difficult decisions that are more about changing how we deliver care than simply tinkering at the edges."
Elsewhere he insists that the implementation stage of Dilnot should be brought on as quickly as possible. "We have heard the government's timetable for consulting on the Commission's report, and the conditions any response need to meet. But we must also bear in mind that while delay is understandable, uncertainty about the future will have inevitable and unfortunate consequences.
"We must prepare for the worst to come. We must enhance and accelerate the pace of integration between these two great pillars of the coming age of wellbeing: social care and health care. Great social care, and great health care, are unambiguously interdependent: the one simply cannot occur without the other in the lives of so many of the citizens we jointly support.
"The sooner both separate arms of this emerging consensus realise that, the better. We need to use the reality of the budgetary position to solve our problems together."
For further information contact:
Peter Hay, ADASS President, 0121 303 2992
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Officer, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755
* Figures throughout refer to England