Commenting on today’s ADASS Autumn Survey results on adult social care and the Homecare Association’s report on the funding of older people’s homecare across the UK, Simon Bottery, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, said:
"Today’s reports outline the sheer scale of the social care challenges facing Victoria Atkins, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
"As we approach winter, it is particularly worrying that directors of adult social care say nearly 250,000 people are waiting for social care assessments. The government will need to ensure that all local authorities have the resources they need to prevent thousands of older and disabled people having their needs go unmet. Last week, the National Audit Office reported that one in four councils are not planning to spend enough this year to meet even the Department of Health and Social Care’s estimate of the social care pressures on them.
"Critical to improved social care provision by councils will be workforce. Better pay, conditions and career opportunities are needed to alleviate the shortage of care staff and, as the Homecare Association reports today, that will mean local authorities paying providers more for the care that they commission so that, in turn, staff pay can increase. There is little sign this is happening at the speed needed for social care providers to compete with other employers. The new minister now has an opportunity to fast track long-delayed and much-needed plans to improve career pathways in social care."
Notes to editors
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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.