Social care directors have warned that the sector must never again be ‘left exposed to a pandemic’ in the aftermath of COVID-19.
A new survey conducted by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) reveals the concerns of many senior figures in the sector for future waves of coronavirus and the winter to come.
It warns that many directors are concerned about the financial stability of care providers going forward.
There are also ‘significant concerns’ about the availability of testing for people receiving social care, unpaid carers and personal assistants.
The vast majority of directors also said additional funding, above and beyond what was already committed, was needed to support the adult social care sector.
ADASS has already made clear that the £3.2bn of emergency funding already provided by the government will not be enough once the initial three-month period is over.
According to the survey, there is also a ‘concerning proportion’ of directors who believe there are insufficient primary and community services in their own areas to support people’s needs.
One third of directors said there was insufficient mental health and substance misuse services available locally.
‘The results of this survey paint a vivid picture of the devastating effect COVID-19 upon millions of us,’ said ADASS president, James Bullion.
‘The government must ensure that social care is never again left exposed to a pandemic. ‘This starts by protecting those of us with care and support needs from the current and subsequent waves of COVID-19 and extends to ensuring social care is at the centre of all future emergency planning and preparation,’ he added.
‘Whilst the wider population may be moving out of the coronavirus peak, COVID-19 will be with older and disabled people for a very long time,’ said Mr Bullion.
‘Easing the lockdown is about more than opening doors it is about unlocking people’s lives – restoring care and support, assessing needs, preparing for the inevitable surge in demand for care and enabling us all to live our lives again.
‘Learning the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, the government must seize the opportunity to reform and reset social care as part of the wider post COVID-19 recovery.’
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