Martin Ford 19 July 2022

Social care faces 'most challenging year'

Social care faces most challenging year image
Image: Daisy Daisy /

Social care is anticipating the most challenging year the sector has ever faced, according to a new survey.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services’ (ADASS) spring survey found inflation and a labour market crisis were expected to add to long-term pressures caused by austerity and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Directors reported increases in care needs while 82% said they had experienced increased referrals of people discharged from hospital.

Almost seven in 10 directors said care providers in their area have closed, ceased trading or handed back contracts to councils.

ADASS president Sarah McClinton said: ‘Adult social care has long been in a fragile state, but growing economic turbulence is rapidly deepening our problems and concerns.

‘Those who need or work in care are among the most exposed to the cost of living crisis.

‘A growing number of directors tell us they have never been more concerned than they are about the winter to come.’

ADASS called for social care to be viewed as a ‘central pillar’ of the Government’s economic growth strategy, with preventative approaches to care and support being used to help the country emerge from the ‘current economic turbulence’.

It also said an immediate grant was required to fund the fallout of COVID-19 and inflationary pressures, the return of winter funding and a two-year settlement for local government.

ADASS’ chief executive Cathie Williams said: ‘Our health and social care services are in jeopardy.

'Without immediate and substantial help from the Government, we face the most difficult winter we have ever experienced during which more people will miss out on vital care, others will wait longer for support, and choice and quality will decline still further.

‘Measures so far to “fix” social care simply do not address the scale of current funding and workforce challenges, and are crying out for a long-term, properly funded plan.’

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