A NEW RAPID SURVEY of members of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) in England shows that while councils are delivering more care and support in people’s homes, people are waiting longer for care assessments and reviews. It suggests that that the number of people waiting for assessments and reviews has increased over the last three months.

It also highlights the impact of the growing number of requests for care in people’s homes, and concerns about the recruitment and retention of care staff.  It paints a stark picture of the impact for those who have care and support needs, or support others who do; with people waiting longer, receiving less care, or the wrong type of care and support.

ADASS says this new report should be read alongside its Spring Survey (July 2021). Together they underline the need for short-term investment in services for older people, disabled people, carers and others.

The report suggests that:

  • 294,353 people are awaiting social care assessments, care and support or reviews. This figure has increased by just over a quarter (26 per cent) over the last three months.
  • Drilling down into the headline figure – 70,000 people are waiting for care assessments (up from 55,000 at the time of the ADASS Spring Survey 2021).
  • 11,000 people have been waiting for more than six months (compared to 7,000 at the time of the ADASS Spring Survey).
  • Up to 184,062 are waiting for reviews of existing care and support plans: this is up 15.6 per cent  from the time of the ADASS Spring Survey. Under the Care Act 2014 statutory guidance, councils should review care plans no later than every 12 months.
  • 13 per cent of people are being offered care and support such as residential care that they would not have chosen, due to recruitment and retention issues.
  • There has been a significant increase in the number of home care hours delivered in local authority areas. This has increased from 13,835,304 hours from 1 February to 30 April 2021 compared to 14,425,882 hours from 1st May to 31st July 2021, an increase of four per cent.
  • The number of hours of care that are needed locally but that there is not the capacity to deliver has doubled over the last six-month period.

The top three things that Directors said would help alleviate current workforce issues are 1) funding, 2) better recognition from the Prime Minister and ministers of the equal value of social care staff alongside their NHS colleagues, 3) extension of the workforce grant across the remainder of the current financial year.

Reflecting on the findings of the survey, Stephen Chandler, ADASS President said: “Having heard the Government’s initial thinking about the longer-term future, this survey is a stark reminder of why we need investment in care and support now.

“It is neither fair nor acceptable that people are waiting longer and getting less care.  People need care and support to live a good life now. They cannot, and should not, be made to wait.

ADASS initiated the snap survey on 14 August with a closing date of 20 August 2021.

* Read the ADASS Spring Survey Report here.

* Source: Association of Directors of Adult Social Services