More than 500,000 adults are now waiting for social care, up from 294,000 (72%) last year, according to new research by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

The data, based on responses from local authorities across England, found that 61% of councils said they are having to prioritise assessments based on how urgent their needs are.

These councils are therefore only able to respond to people where abuse or neglect is highlighted, for hospital discharge or after a temporary period of residential care to support recovery and reablement.

While there has been a 16% increase in the number of hours of home care that have been delivered since Spring 2021, almost 170,000 hours a week of home care could not be delivered during the first three months of 2022.

Family cares left having to shoulder greater responsibility

ADASS say the research demonstrates that the growing number of people needing care and the increasing complexity of their needs are far outstripping the capacity to meet them.

This has left family carers having to shoulder greater responsibility and take paid or unpaid leave from work to care and support their family members.
This is despite the efforts of social care staff who have worked relentlessly over the past two years to provide an increasing amount of care.

Until this addressed, ADASS warn that levels of unmet, under-met or wrongly met needs will continue to increase, leaving more people needing hospital care.

ADASS is now calling for a fully funded to plan to ensure everyone gets the care and support they need

Sarah McClinton, ADASS President said: “We have not seen the bounce back in services after the pandemic in the way we had hoped. In fact, the situation is getting worse rather than better.

“Social care is far from fixed. The Health and Social Care reforms go some way to tackle the issue of how much people contribute to the cost of their care, but it falls short in addressing social care’s most pressing issues: how we respond to rapidly increasing unmet need for essential care and support and resolve the workforce crisis by properly valuing care professionals.”

Cathie Williams, ADASS Chief Executive is now calling for a fully funded to plan to ensure that everyone gets the care and support they need.

“People cannot wait for funding trickle into adult social care and wider community services,” she added.