600 people a day joining growing care assessment waiting lists

Six hundred people a day are joining growing waiting lists to be assessed for care and support in England, as adult social care faces unprecedented pressures.

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.

One in four people on the waiting list have been waiting longer than six months for crucial care assessments.

At this rate of increase, the number waiting will hit 400,000 by November – double the total 12 months previously.

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

The latest figures have emerged from a count carried out by ADASS, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, through its members in local councils across England.

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.

Sarah McClinton, ADASS President, 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.’

Cathie Williams, ADASS chief executive, added: ‘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.’

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson


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