Alliance in call for Government to end ’25 years of inaction’ on social care reform

The Government must end “25 years of inaction” and commit to properly fund and fix the social care system, according to an alliance representing millions of people who receive care.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and organisations which represent 10 million care recipients, family carers and professionals are issuing a joint call for ministers to “break their silence” on the sector’s future.

They say there is an urgent need for clarity following widespread criticism over the absence of measures to address growing social care pressures in this year’s budget.

The groups are calling for the Government to announce extended and increased funding from April.

This includes funding to help adult social care providers reduce transmission within and between care settings, which is in place until the end of March.

They also want to see proposals for social care reform to be published before Parliament breaks for the summer.

The Government has said it is reviewing the need for further Covid-19 funding past March and decisions will be made “in due course”.

And it has said it will set out plans for the reform of the sector later this year.

ADASS president James Bullion (pictured) said: “With little more than two weeks to go until the new financial year, there is still no news of what funding will be available for care and support and for our care workers who have responded so magnificently throughout the coronavirus crisis.

“We were bitterly disappointed that social care was not mentioned in the chancellor’s budget statement.

“We are calling on the Government to put that right and offer real hope of a way forward for more than 10 million of us who draw on social care or work to provide it.

“This Government has the chance to end 25 years of indecision over social care and create a historic legacy. We are urging it to seize that chance now.”

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said the emergency Covid funding must be extended “to prevent any immediate impact on people’s care and health support”.

He continued: “We also need a clear plan for the future of adult social care, to address both immediate and short-term pressures, but also how we fund and pay for this vital service in the long-term.

“We reiterate our call for the Government to urgently bring forward its proposals for the future of adult social care as soon as possible, to let people live the lives they want to lead.”

Recent research by the Care and Support Alliance (CSA), a member of the coalition, found that more than a quarter of people who need social care have seen their health deteriorate during the coronavirus pandemic.

And one in seven required hospital treatment due to a lack of care, according to the survey of more than 4,000 people with social care needs and carers.

The CSA said the results show that a lack of social care “undermines” people’s health, heaps pressure on the NHS and makes it “difficult or impossible” for people and their carers to live fulfilling lives.

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