Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

ADASS publish a new roadmap for social care

Millions of people are in pain or distress because they aren’t getting the care they need with family and friends also being pushed to the edge, according to a new report from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

The report, Time to act: a roadmap to reform care and support in England, says recent pressures on the NHS have again brought the challenges facing social care to the fore.

It adds that there is a consensus on what sort of care and support system is needed, but for decades no political or collective will to make it happen.

The authors, social care experts Kate Jopling and Dr Anna Dixon, warn that with waiting lists spiralling “we’ve run out of road” to carry on like this and they propose how care and support could be transformed in England, focusing on 10 key areas for change.

This ranges from improving housing options for those who are older or disabled, tackling the chronic social care staffing issues including pay and conditions, to supporting carers and making care more affordable.

Social care is close to breaking point

Sarah McClinton, President of ADASS, commissioned the report because she said that she has never seen the adult care system so close to breaking point.

She added: “We’ve been trying to patch-up social care for years, but we’ve run out of road. We need to act now to save social care. We don’t expect the Government to wave a magic wand, but we do need the political will to invest in a long-term plan to ensure good care is available to everyone, everywhere.

“And the government must back local leaders and local people to take charge of fixing care in their communities because they know what’s needed. What’s impressive in this report is that despite the odds we’ve faced – the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, chronic underfunding – local people are showing what’s possible. But they need the backing of the whole country to make it happen everywhere.”

The report charts what needs to be done in the next two years, what changes are needed in two to five years and longer term over the next ten years to ensure that everyone who needs care and support, can access it, whoever they are and wherever they live in England.

It also highlights changes that can be made immediately at a local level without the need for huge amounts of money. This includes training and developing staff in provider and commissioner bodies to support a shift in behaviours and mindset away from “provision” to co-production.

ADASS report highlights a social care system in a ‘dire state’

The report was welcomed by the National Autistic Society who said that the will from government was needed to invest in a long-term plan for social care to make sure the right support is available for those who need it

Tim Nicholls, Head of Influencing and Research, added: “After decades of governments breaking their social care promises, the system is in a dire state, made worse by the pandemic and the record number of staff vacancies, the result of wages not keeping pace with the cost of living.

“Our research found that 71% of autistic adults, more than 300,000 people, don’t get the care they need. Without support their lives are unnecessarily harder, and too many end up in crisis and need more intensive help, including in mental health hospitals. To create a society that truly works for autistic people, the government must deliver social care reform.”

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