Report reveals impact of Covid-19 on adult social care

By Agencies
June 14, 2020

The Association of Directors of Adults Social Services (ADASS) has published a survey on the response in adult social care to the Coronavirus pandemic.

James Bullion, President of ADASS said: "The results of the survey paint a vivid picture of the devastating effect of COVID-19 upon millions of us. Those who have died prematurely, those who have had to grieve in isolation, those who have been discharged from hospital without the right assessment, those who have been unable to access community-based services, those who are isolated or shielding, those requiring safeguarding, those experiencing mental health or addiction crises, those experiencing domestic violence, and/or exploitation, and those who work in adult social care.

"The Government must ensure that social care is never again left exposed to a pandemic. This starts by protecting those of us with care and support needs from the current and subsequent waves of COVID-19 and extends to ensuring social care is at the centre of all future emergency planning and preparation.

"Whilst the wider population may be moving out of the coronavirus peak, COVID-19 will be with older and disabled people for a very long time. Easing the lockdown is about more than opening doors it is about unlocking people’s lives – restoring care and support, assessing needs, preparing for the inevitable surge in demand for care and enabling us all to live our lives again. Learning the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government must seize the opportunity to reform and reset social care as part of the wider post COVID-19 recovery."

Amongst other things, the survey found that 53 per cent of Directors of Adult Social Services have seen an increase in people presenting to their council with adult social care needs as a result of carer breakdown, sickness or unavailability.

Also, 87 per cent of Directors said they are not confident about an adequate supply of or ability to access testing for unpaid carers.

Responding to the report, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: “It is incredibly worrying that more than half of Directors of Adults Social Services have had people presenting with social care needs as a result of an unpaid carer they rely on not being able to support them.

“Unpaid carers are under intolerable pressure right now. The majority are providing even more care than usual which is taking a catastrophic toll on their physical and mental health. Tens of thousands of people are caring round the clock without the hope of a break and without any outside support.

“When Carers UK surveyed unpaid carers in April, 55 per cent said they felt overwhelmed managing their caring responsibilities and were worried about burning out in the weeks ahead. It is clear that caring without enough support is having a big impact on people and many are struggling to carry on.

“During Carers Week, we have been shining a light on the experiences of carers and recognising their contribution during this pandemic. It is not right or fair that they have been left without sufficient support. It is absolutely vital that Government and local authorities do everything they can to support unpaid carers to look after their own health and wellbeing through the duration of this pandemic. Care and support services, which provide much needed respite, need to be reinstated as soon as it is safe to do so. Local government also needs adequate funding to ensure it can meet growing additional need.

“The Directors of Adult Social Services reported not being confident about unpaid carers’ ability to get Covid-19 testing. Being able to take a test is really important for some unpaid carers who need to move in and out of their homes to carry out their caring responsibilities and work. There needs to be robust roll out and delivery so that unpaid carers are able to get tested if they need it.”

* Read the ADASS coronavirus survey report here

* Carers UK https://www.carersuk.org/home

* Association of Directors of Adult Social Services https://www.adass.org.uk/

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