Money must be made available for social care to address current funding gaps and service pressures but there is little optimism that the chancellor will address the issue in today’s budget, the president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has said.
Margaret Willcox told LGC that she welcomed the government’s confirmation last week that a green paper on the future of social care will be published in the summer, accepting that there is “a lot of work to be done”.
But she said the government needed to take action in the meantime to plug the growing funding gap.
“Whilst we are pleased that government has committed to publishing the long-awaited green paper on social care next summer, more needs to be done now to secure extra recurring money to address funding gaps, address continuing service pressures and the stability of the care market,” she said.
However, Ms Wilcox told LGC this morning the expectation was that any funding pledges in today’s Budget are likely to focus on other parts of the public sector, such as the NHS.
Ms Willcox said: “In anticipation of the budget, we are not expecting anything at all.
“Our optimism has faltered as there is not anything [for social care] in the threads that are being talked about.”
Yesterday Ms Willcox said that proposals for long-term reform of the social care system “needs to address the needs of the whole population – not just older people”.
She added: “It is also vital that future funding settlement for the NHS and adult social care take account of the inter-dependency of these services and encourage collaboration rather than cost shunting.”
Adass says 53% of councils are expecting to overspend their adult social care budgets this year by up to nearly £21 million each.
It has warned that “quality challenges” are increasing as a result and vacancy rates for home care staff are rising, with fears that the sustainability of adult social care could breach its tipping point.