Three-quarters of Association of Directors of Social Care (ADASS) directors say that reducing the number of people receiving care will be important to achieve the necessary savings.
In the 2018 ADASS budget survey, they say that the greatest concern to councils is the increasing cost of care packages for growing numbers of people with complex needs. More directors now expect fewer people to be in receipt of state-funded care in the next two years. They note: “If this is an outcome of preventive approaches, this is a positive aspiration, but if it is about gatekeeping resources then it risks people in need being left without services, which would be unlawful and financially risky.”
The 2018 report notes that short-term funding has “undoubtedly avoided a far worse situation” but that this does not give councils confidence to meet future legislative requirements. ADASS says: “Uncertainty over the future of the Improved Better Care Fund after 2019/20 makes it difficult for councils to commit funding to longer-term solutions needed to prevent people from needing care.” ADASS calls for short-term funding to continue “until whatever is in the promised Green Paper can be implemented.”
The impact of additional funding for adult social care is noted in the budget. This raised £1.5bn from the Improved Better Care Fund and £1.7bn from the social care precept1, to counter-balance savings of £700m in 2018/19, the adult social care element of overall council savings.
The budget notes that councils are spending an increasing proportion of their total budgets on social care: 34 per cent in 2010/11 rising to almost 38 per cent in 2018/19.