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Confidence low among care directors that legal duties can be met

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Cuts to adult social care services due to ongoing austerity have “gone too far” and the consequences are not fully understood, the president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services will warn today.

In a speech on the first day of the National Children and Adults Services Conference in Manchester, Glen Garrod will also say the government’s treatment of social care as a “pressure valve” to ease pressure on the NHS through a requirement to focus on delayed transfers of care from hospital “just makes things worse” as investment in wider support and prevention services are reduced.

He will say: “We in social care know it is about so much more; it is about encouraging people to live independent lives and be an active part of their communities.”

Mr Garrod’s warning comes as Adass publishes the findings of a snap survey of members which found nine out of 10 directors of adult social services are either partly or not confident they can meet their duties under the Care Act 2014 to maintain market sustainability by the end of 2019-20.

Also, three-quarters of the 97 respondents had partial or no confidence in meeting their legal duties relating to prevention and wellbeing, and deprivation of liberty safeguards.

The survey also found councils are expecting to collectively overspend their adult social care budgets by £136m in 2018-19.

Mr Garrod will say: “I am worried – very worried – that a small but growing number of colleagues are finding their role almost impossible.

“The role is demanding enough and as the Adass annual survey and the recent autumn snap survey revealed, my fellow directors’ confidence at maintaining statutory services is increasingly becoming the exception.

“This is an untenable position when the lack of money means services decline, standards reduce, and risks to people increase.”

Adass has described recent government short-term funding pledges for social care as “woefully inadequate”.

“The government’s upcoming green paper on adult social care must include social justice and the moral obligation we have to those of us who are older and disabled though long-term funding solutions,” Mr Garrod will say.

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