ADASS seeks three key freedoms as the basis of care for older and vulnerable people

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Tuesday 8th November 2011
Embargo: Immediate

Dignity, security, clarity are the three guarantees directors of adult social services offer older and vulnerable adults as the outcomes they are seeking of the current reform programme being forged for adult social services.

ADASS President Peter Hay drove home to MPs on the Health Select Committee today these keynote guarantees to older and vulnerable people. They are ones which ADASS believes are critical to the success of the oncoming social care White Paper.

Directors believe that all adults should be:

  • FREE from anxiety and the fear of undignified treatment
  • FREE from financial insecurity in old age
  • FREE from a lack of clarity about the social care system

Meanwhile the Association's written submission to the Committee stresses that "In the past ADASS has warmly welcomed the recommendations of both the Dilnot and the Law Commission and has encouraged the government to respond with a real sense of urgency and commitment (as clearly set out in the Coalition Agreement). The aim: to create a sustainable long term funding solution for adult social care and to create a legal framework fit for the 21st Century."

MPs are reminded, too, that Dilnot does not effectively respond to the widely acknowledged funding gap within social care. Nor to the growing demographic cost pressures widely accepted to be running at four per cent per year. According to Peter Hay, "if we are going to implement Andrew Dilnot's report, we have to think carefully about a number of ways in which we can encourage individuals to make their contributions to care."

ADASS goes on to affirm that the contribution of adult social care services to the overall local health and social care economy is `vital and fundamental'. Numerous business cases show the benefits of adult social care-integrated activity on patients, and subsequently on the costs/pressures within the health system.

"This inter-dependency supports the urgent call for a sustainable and long term funding solution for adult social care which will create the conditions to help the NHS achieve its £20bn efficiencies while maintaining a focus upon improved outcomes for citizens and communities," the evidence says.

Added to this, ADASS also points out the `significant contribution' that adult social care has upon the economy as a whole. Adult social care employs more people than the NHS and is expected to grow in response to increased demographics and the continued expansion of personalised approaches to care. "This contribution has been widely underrated and adds to the business case for a sustainable and long term funding solution."

Other areas that the ADASS evidence to the Committee fully supports include:

  • EXTENDING the personalisation offer to vulnerable adults,
     
  • MAKING the assessments of need portable country-wide, so that people moving from one area to another do not have to undergo further reassessments,
     
  • REGULATING the finances of provider companies, including the creation of a proportionate failure regime that can mitigate against the failure of social care providers. "There is a pressing need for public reassurance on the financial fitness of care providers - as evidenced by the recent collapse of a major provider group and its unsustainable business model. This is a key question for the adult social care sector as a whole and requires a response which allows for transparency and clarity at every level."
     
  • PROMOTING integration between health and social care services - "an integration which is not purely about changing structures or bureaucracy, but is equally about culture, behaviours and values and introducing the social model of care into more wider fields."

Mr Hay said today: "These reforms bring new challenges and opportunities, and the new, reformed world needs to balance how both individual and public money work together, and how different elements of the NHS, GP service, Public Health and Local Authorities can better integrate in a way which benefits all the users of these important services."

ENDS

For further information contact:
Peter Hay, ADASS President, 0121 303 2992
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

EDITORIAL NOTES

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors of adult social services in local authorities in England. DASSs have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people and adults with disabilities, while over 50 per cent also run social housing departments. ADASS members might also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, library, culture and arts services within their councils.

`Personalisation' is a term used to describe a number of ways in which vulnerable adults and their carers can receive a mixture of local authority and government money in order to pay directly for the care services they need without direct social services involvement.

They will be helped in making an assessment of their needs and finances by social workers who will also involve and consider the needs and availability of carers. Any contractual agreement is therefore between the individual and the care worker or operator.

The government has urged local authorities to prioritise the roll-out of individual budgets. A National Director for Social Care Transformation was appointed in September 2008 to contribute to the development of personalised services.