William Eichler 04 August 2022

Social care waiting lists set to ‘double’ by November, ADASS warns

Social care waiting lists set to ‘double’ by November, ADASS warns image
Image: SeventyFour / Shutterstock.com

A shocking 600 people a day are joining growing waiting lists to be assessed for care and support in England, warn directors of adult social services.

A new survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) suggests that almost 300,000 people are now waiting for an assessment of their needs by social workers, an increase of 90,000 (44%) in five months.

The poll of ADASS members from local authorities across England also revealed that the number waiting for an assessment will hit 400,000 by November – double the total 12 months previously.

Commenting on the figures, ADASS President Sarah McClinton said: ‘These new findings confirm our worst fears for adult social care. The picture is deteriorating rapidly and people in need of care and support to enable them to live full and independent lives are being left in uncertainty, dependency and pain.’

Extrapolated from responses from 83 councils, the survey results also found that on the count date of 30 April, a total 294,449 people were awaiting the first assessment of their care and support needs, of whom 73,792 had been waiting more than six months.

A further 37,447 people who had been assessed as needing a service were waiting for it to begin or for their first direct payment to arrange it for themselves. And 210,106 people receiving a service or payment were overdue for a review under the terms of the Care Act.

In all, 542,002 people were awaiting assessment, review or the start of a service or direct payment – an increase of 37% on an equivalent count in November last year.

Cathie Williams, ADASS chief executive, said: ‘Contrary to claims, social care is not being fixed and we need decisive action and funding now to get us through the months ahead and to start to build the foundations of the reformed system that we all want to see.’

ADASS’ poll results support the recent findings of the the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, which argues that the Government is not even close to ‘rescuing’ social care.

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