The King's Fund responds to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services Budget Survey 2020

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Responding to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services Budget Survey 2020, Simon Bottery, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, said:

‘These findings will make worrying reading for older and disabled people who rely on social care services. They reinforce the sense of extreme financial pressure on councils, caused by long-term trends of growing demand and increasing costs, and now compounded by the challenges of Covid-19.

‘Unlike the NHS, local authorities have a legal duty to set a balanced budget. Within their existing resources, just 4 per cent of directors of adult social services are fully confident they can fulfil their basic statutory duties to meet people’s care needs.

‘Covid-19 has exposed pre-existing weaknesses in a social care system that has been underfunded and overlooked for too long. Councils have the key role to play in ensuring the social care sector emerges from the epidemic in a viable state. They must support care providers that are facing increasing costs, reduced income and have had to manage higher rates of staff absence. To do that councils will need additional support and investment from central government in the short term, followed by full-scale reform to create a system that properly supports people to live the lives they want.’

Notes to editors

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The King’s Fund has previously set out the key areas for social care reform: What’s your problem, social care? The eight key areas for reform.

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.