Survey reveals deteriorating picture of social care services

In response to a survey published by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, social care services are being critiqued – with the National Care Forum saying ‘people need care now’.

The survey, published by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: ‘The state of social care services has revealed a rapidly deteriorating picture of hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people left waiting for help despite record increases in care being provided to people in their own homes.’

Responses to this survey have called for action on issues such as waiting lists, with 70,000 people waiting for care assessments – up from 55,000 at the time of the ADASS Spring Survey 2021. Nearly 300,000 people are also awaiting social care assessments, care and support, which has increased by just over a quarter in the last three months.

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Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum (NCF), the leading association for not-for-profit organisations in the care and support sector, said:

‘How many times does this message need to be repeated for it to be heard? NCF and our membership have been highlighting all summer long the growing shortages in the workforce, the knock-on impact on those who remain working and the devastating consequence for those receiving or needing care and support. These numbers from ADASS are frightening. These are people at the highest level of need that cannot wait six or eight months, they need care and support now.

‘The ADASS survey makes a clear call for investment in the social care workforce. This has been echoed by all our own research which shows that there are three core changes that would make a difference: an immediate retention bonus for all care workers, a funded increase to pay and the inclusion of front-line care workers on the shortage occupation list. Once again the government seems oblivious to the call for action to address the workforce shortages in social care, choosing to use the news of a new variant to further call out for ‘reservists’ to support the NHS. This fails to view the entire health and care system as a whole. The constant prioritisation of health over care does not serve our communities well, and this research shows once again the devastating impact on lives across the country of not investing in and supporting a workforce that has delivered through thick and thin.’

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, also said: ‘This latest research reflects the worsening picture of home care for older and disabled people and their carers and illustrates the need for immediate action.

‘Many carers tell us they are at breaking point, with rising levels of stress and anxiety. 72% have not had a break at all from caring since the start of the pandemic. They have been left with no choice but to pick up more care and support to keep their loved ones safe as services they have been able to rely on previously have been shut or have not re opened. Some families have been too worried about the vulnerability of those they care for to use some services.

‘Our research also mirrors these latest findings that hundreds of thousands of people are now waiting for an assessment or service. Our recent State of Caring 2021 research found that only 24% of carers had received a carer’s assessment or re-assessment in the last 12 months – when many of these carers’ situations have got worse.  One in five carers (19%) said they had waited over six months for the assessment.  This is very worrying as 81% of the unpaid carers we support are providing more care than they were before as the needs of the disabled and older relatives and friends they care for have grown in the last 18 months.

‘Carers tell us they are worried about the future. Without additional social care funding and adequate staffing, carers will simply not be able to cope this winter.’

Photo by National Cancer Institute


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