Social care system ‘no longer fit for purpose’ : The King's Fund responds to the ADASS budget survey

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The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) annual budget survey analyses the state of adult social care finances in England. 

Commenting on the 2019 ADASS budget survey, Sally Warren, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said:

‘Budget pressures combined with rising disability among working-age adults and a growth in the number of people over 65 have left adult social care services in England at crisis point.

‘Despite the best efforts of local authorities and care providers to protect services, the social care system is no longer fit for purpose and is failing the people who use it, their families and carers. Successive governments have promised to reform social care, but failed to do so. Politicians must be honest with the public about the shortcomings of the current system and the costs of reform.

‘Reforming social care is one of the most urgent and important social policy issue facing the country and should be at the top of the agenda for the new Prime Minister. In the meantime, additional funding will need to be found to shore up struggling services.’

Notes to editors

For further information or interview requests, contact Andrew McCracken, head of Press and Public Affairs at The King’s Fund on 020 7307 2594 or 07774 907 960.

The King’s Fund recently published ‘Social care 360’, a review of 20 key trends in social care. That analysis found that:

  • the proportion of working-age adults approaching local authorities for support has risen by 4 per cent – over 23,000 people – since 2015/16. At the same time, England’s increasing older population is fuelling greater demand for services
  • the amount it costs councils to pay for care per week is increasing. The average per week cost of residential and nursing care for an older person now stands at £615, a real-terms increase of 6.6 per cent since 2015/16
  • the number of nursing and residential care beds available for people aged over 75 has fallen from 11.3 per 1,000 to 10.1 per 1,000 since 2012
  • there is a growing staffing crisis in social care, with around 8 per cent of jobs vacant at any one time. There are 1.6 million jobs in social care, up by 275,000 since 2009. But 390,000 staff leave their jobs each year
  • fewer people who care for family members are receiving support from their local authority, but more are getting help through the national benefits system.