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Winter pressures could drive people into private care, ADASS survey warns

Winter pressures could potentially drive people into privately-funded care, a survey by care leaders has warned.

The Spring survey from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) concludes that increased care provision is not keeping pace with increased needs.

New findings show that short-term funding boosts from Government have helped reduce the number of people waiting for care and increased support for people at home from a record high of 542,000 in April 2022 to 430,000 at the end of March 2023. 

However, factors such as the NHS backlog, rising mental health needs, support around domestic abuse of people with care and support needs, and carer breakdown means most councils are not confident they can offer the minimum social care support in their communities required by law.

ADASS calls on the Government to commit to:

  • invest in domiciliary support
  • improve workforce pay and conditions: international recruitment is not a long term fix
  • Develop a fully funded, long-term plan to transform social care.

Care leaders have responded to the findings:

Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: “Local authorities have been set up to fail by Government. Without intervention, we face an uncertain future. The survey highlights the increasing number of providers closing, ceasing trading or handing back council contracts. The warning lights have never been brighter for the Government.” 

Professor Vic Rayner, CEO of the NCF added: “Proper investment in adult social care would unlock jobs, growth and tackle health and socio-economic inequalities across the country. It would be one of the single-most powerful policy decisions a government could make to better the lives of people everywhere.” The NCF has called on government to introduce measures including a requirement for all government policymaking to include ‘Care and Support Impact Assessments’ to widen policymaking beyond a narrow health focus, and establish and fund a national framework for the price of care.

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