ADASS welcomes Dilnot ”without reservation”

The recommendations of the Dilnot committee review into funding of adult and elderly care in England have been welcomed “without reservation” by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

According to ADASS president Peter Hay, the coalition was brave to commission the review and the report would come to be recognised as “the moment when adult social care was put on a footing to become fit for purpose in the 21st century.”

However, Hay warned that the current state of the economy should not divert the government from tackling this major issue.

“The current government bravely set up Dilnot at a time, 12 months ago, when it knew we were heading for a period of political as well as financial turbulence,” Hay said. “They must have weighed those risks, and still thought, even then, that answering the questions they asked Dilnot to address should transcend the difficult political/economic context in which they were being set.”

As Labour leader Ed Miliband offered to work across political boundaries to find a solution, Hay went on: “The sector should build on the unity achieved during the run-up to Dilnot and maintain it in the coming months while discussion and informed debate lead towards the promised Parliamentary timetable. Health, local authorities and the wider voluntary sector all have a stake in ensuring that the best outcomes are achieved from Dilnot.”

He added “We may be working in a broken system and we may face many challenges which won’t disappear simply with the publication of a report. But social care is a system worth the repair – it has the ability to change lives. I don’t just want assurance that what waits for my old age is a guarantee of basic standards. I want to know that I will be supported and enabled to add quality to the gift of long life expectancy.”

The British Red Cross also saw the Dilnot review as a once in a generation chance to tackle what could only be described as a crisis in social care. But it called on the coalition to “act urgently”.

“If questions around how we pay for an ageing population’s needs aren’t dealt with now, we are simply storing up a far greater crisis for the future,” said George McNamara, head of public policy at the charity. “There can be no escaping the fact that much more money and investment is needed if we are to meet the long-term needs of today and tomorrow. But up and down the country local authorities are cutting the type of social care support which could reduce or defer the need for residential care.”