William Eichler 12 June 2018

Councils struggle to sustain ‘fragile’ care sector, directors warn

Councils struggle to sustain ‘fragile’ care sector, directors warn  image

A new report into the ‘fragile state’ of the social care system has revealed that adult social care makes up nearly 40% of councils’ budgets — a figure that is continuing to increase.

The Association for the Directors of Adult Social Services’ (ADASS) annual budget survey has revealed the extent of the ongoing social care crisis facing the country.

Between 2010 and 2020 English councils will have seen their core funding from central Government reduced by £16bn. These cuts have had a negative impact on the social care sector which, it is estimated, will face a funding gap of £2bn in 2020.

ADASS’ survey found that 38% of total councils budgets went on paying for adult social care, a figure that is continuing to increase.

Local authority funding pressures are having an impact on private providers.

Around 44 councils have had contracts handed back by providers unable to meet them, according to the survey. 48 councils have also experienced providers closing or ceasing to trade in the last six months.

ADASS also found 78% of local authorities are concerned about their ability to meet the statutory duty to ensure care market stability.

The Government introduced the social care precept in order to help fund social care through council tax.

The survey found that 92% of councils surveyed who increased their precepts to cover social care costs said they were doing so just to keep pace with demographic pressures.

‘Social care is essentially about making sure we not only look after people with profound and increasingly complex needs, but also help many transform their lives,’ said Glen Garrod, president of ADASS.

‘Sadly, however, this budget survey reveals, once again this essential care and support is just not being given the resources it needs.’

Responding to the survey, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: ‘The fact that nearly 40% of councils’ overall budgets are now spent on adult social care shows that local government is striving to protect this vital service.

‘But despite these efforts, the combination of historic funding reductions, rising demand and increasing cost pressures mean many councils continue to have to make significant savings and reductions within adult social care services to balance their overall budgets.

‘The stark consequences of this include an ever more fragile provider market, growing unmet and under-met need, further strain on informal carers, less investment in prevention, and continued pressure on an already-overstretched workforce.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Co-ordinators

Buckinghamshire Council
£30,874 - £37,188 per annum
Interested in a career as an EHC Coordinator? Come along to our drop-in event to meet members of the SEND team and find out more about the role! England, Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury
Recuriter: Buckinghamshire Council

Social Worker - Leaving and After Care

Essex County Council
£27775 - £41425 per annum + Plus Excellent Benefits Package
Knowledge, Skills and Experience * Diploma or Degree in Social Work, CQSW, CSS or equivalent * Registration with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as Registered Social Worker * Demonstrable capability of practice in accordance with curre England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Built Heritage Consultant

Essex County Council
Job Purpose
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Principal Social Worker

Telford & Wrekin Council
£44,632 - £47,534 per annum
We have an established management team, committed to developing excellent practice and ensuring that our staff receive the best support we can offer. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

ASC Occupational Therapist - Physical & Sensory Impairment Team

Essex County Council
£30300 - £41425 per annum
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine