This week the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has published their report into adult care services and their budgets. Here are some of the findings.
- Current funding doesn’t match the needs and costs of care for older and disabled people
- To maintain care at the same level as last year would require more than an extra £1.1 billion
- The new social care precept flexibility enables councils to levy a 2% on council tax. This was taken up by 93% of councils to raise a total of £380 million. The problem is this raises much more in some areas than others, raising the least in areas with the greatest need of social care
- The social care precept raises less than two-thirds of the calculated cost of National Living Wage, meaning Directors of Adult Social Services this year have to find more savings of £941 million
- In spite of the population of older people increasing by 3%, there was no increase in the number of older people receiving social care from 2015-2016
- Of this year’s savings, at least 24% will come from cutting services or by reducing the personal budgets of people who receive support and care
- Directors are increasingly unsure as to where the funding is coming from. Last year 45% of Directors were confident the budget would be met. This year that number is down to just 31%
- The impact of the higher National Living Wage has seen a significant increase in fees to care home providers. The survey finds the total will be over £600 million
- Staff recruitment has become a problem. 80% of Directors reported that local providers were facing financial difficulties. This has led to many closing, selling up or handing back the contract for the care they provide to older and disabled people, affecting thousands last year
- Reducing budgets in social care has a wider impact in the healthcare industry. 85% of Directors thought the NHS is under increasing pressure, 85% thought providers faced quality challenges and 84% believed providers were facing financial difficulty
Overall the importance of social care was recognised, but there are obvious failings due to cuts and pressures on services. The hope is that there is a plan on the horizon to save the care sector and provide to the thousands of older and disabled people who rely on it.
Read more on the report here.