Laura Sharman 14 January 2022

Half of councils forced to ration care, survey reveals

Half of councils forced to ration care, survey reveals image
Image: SeventyFour/Shutterstock.com

Staff shortages have forced more than of councils in England to ration social care and support, a new survey has revealed.

A new survey by ADASS found half of councils surveyed are taking at least one exceptional measure to prioritise care and assess risk for at least some of their area for some of the time.

This includes prioritising life sustaining care over helping someone get out of bed or completing other activities.

More than one in two directors of social services told the survey they have temporarily limited the care normally provided or have been forced to ask families to step in to help.

Stephen Chandler, president of ADASS, said: 'These are decisions that no-one wants to take, and many are unacceptable. They are drastic measures and must not become, the norm.

'The roots of this lie in the failure to fund adult social care sustainably over the past decade and to recognise and reward properly the committed, courageous and compassionate people who work in it.

'Opportunities were repeatedly missed to ensure that adult social care would be robust enough to withstand the challenges posed by Omicron. Any money that has been forthcoming, though welcome, has been too little, too late.'

ADASS is calling for social care to receive at least an extra £7bn funding a year, a social care minimum wage equal to what the NHS pays for similar work, and for social care to receive a larger share from the new Health and Social Care Levy.

Cllr David Fothergill, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: 'No one receiving services should have to go without, but pre-existing workforce shortages have been compounded by staff absences caused by Omicron, leaving some councils with no choice but to prioritise people in their care.

'These sobering findings reinforce what we have long said, about the urgent need to address immediate pressures facing social care now, including on capacity, recruitment and retention, care worker pay and on unmet and under-met need.'

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: 'Care staff are working incredibly hard and we are doing everything we can to support them including with a £462.5m recruitment fund, expanding the Health and Care Visa scheme and our ‘Made with Care’ recruitment campaign.

'Over the course of the pandemic, we have made available more than £2.9bn in specific funding for adult social care.'

The Carer’s Allowance scandal image

The Carer’s Allowance scandal

Government has a choice, says Kirsty McHugh of Carers Trust: continue to rely on the unpaid labour of millions or take action to give a fairer deal to carers.
The new Centre for Young Lives image

The new Centre for Young Lives

Anne Longfield CBE, the chair of the Commission on Young Lives, discusses the launch of the Centre for Young Lives this month.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Chief Officer - City Development & Regeneration

Aberdeen City Council
£99,064 per year
The role will have responsibility for working with a range of strategic stakeholders in ensuring and securing the economic growth of the city Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
Recuriter: Aberdeen City Council

Strategic Development Officer

Essex County Council
£36425 - £42854 per annum
Strategic Development OfficerFixed Term, Full Time£36,425 to £42,854 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Director of Adult Social Care

Tower Hamlets London Borough Council
£131,600 - £145,453 per annum
There has never been a more exciting time to work at Tower Hamlets Council. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Strategic Director

East Suffolk Council
£109,108 - £112,322 per annum + benefits
We are delighted to offer an opportunity to join our Corporate Leadership Team as a Strategic Director Suffolk
Recuriter: East Suffolk Council

Director of Housing & Health

East Devon District Council
Up to £102,000 per annum
Breathe even fresher air into our district. Devon
Recuriter: East Devon District Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.