Tuesday October 28 2014

Bringing three per cent of health and care spend to the table in the form of the Better Care Fund “is probably not enough to form a secure basis for shifting the balance of care provision and transforming care services,” according to David Pearson, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social services

Opening the National Children’s and Adults Social care conference in Manchester today, he went on to ask to what extent preventing the estimated 30 per cent of older people with significant needs from being in hospital is likely to be less expensive, as well as being far better for their wellbeing. 

“All the evidence suggests that this alone will not fill the emerging funding gap in social care. Any savings will be outstripped by the doubling of  people over 85 in the coming two decades and the increasing numbers of working age adults who will need care. While the number of adults with learning disabilities needing care will have increased by 25 per cent between now and 2026.”

He stressed , though, the important influence that the  Care Act 2014 will exert in the coming years, as it is progressively implemented from next April onwards. “This is the most important legislation for the care and support of adults in 60 years. It will shape the approach for decades to come and there is widespread support for its main principles,” he said. 

He also congratulated the Department of Health and the Local Government Association for their sustained collaboration over the passage of the Bill. “This has been a collaboration which, with the help of organisations representing providers, users and carers, has made a qualitative difference to the content of the Act,” he said.

“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a care system that truly reflects the changing balance of need in the population. It is important that we find the capacity to manage present challenges and to lift our heads to create the platform for the future. Of course, as part of this, we need to ensure that there is sufficient funding not only  to fund the Act, but to achieve its aspirations.” 

But, he acknowledged, a recent survey’s results have been taken seriously by government and led to an increase in funding for carers. “This is a positive outcome, not just because it reduces the financial risk for local government but because supporting carers of all ages makes a huge difference to the quality of life of carers and service users.”

Mr Pearson concluded: “There has been no more challenging time to be a leader in local government as we seek to grapple with making savings and changing the way in which we commission or deliver services. However, there is evidence that we have responded well by wrestling with the financial challenges changing services, and engaging with new national policy and legislation. 

“I am reminded of the comment of designer Min Kyu Choi who said `I made a list of what could be changed and what couldn’t. The second list was surprisingly short.’ My hope for this conference, is that by the end of this week all of our individual lists of things that we cannot change will be “surprisingly short.” 

ENDS

For further information contact:
David Pearson, President, ADASS: 07967 270092
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser: 020 8348 5023/07976 837755  

EdtorialNotes

The National Children’s and Adults Social Care conference (NCASC) is being held this week from October 29 – 31. For further conference information call Drew Clode on the number above, or the conference media line on 0161 834 2700 ext 2281.

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

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