The previously delayed spending review scheduled for November provides an opportunity for government to give adult social care the funding boost it needs to support the most vulnerable in society. Government has confirmed that the review will ‘focus entirely on the response to Covid-19’, where health services have been stretched to capacity.
The impact on adult social care in light of this public health crisis cannot be underestimated. With long-term structural issues already affecting a social care system facing significant challenges, the additional pressures COVID-19 has brought have highlighted the scale of those challenges.
Following the outbreak of the pandemic, only 4% of Directors of Adult Social Care from councils across the country are confident that their budgets in 2020/21 are sufficient to meet statutory duties, according to a report by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) .
The influential Health and Social Care Select Committee published a report in October which called for an urgent increase in government spending for adult social care. Headway agrees with its assessment that ‘the case for making a sustained investment in social care has never been stronger–the toll the pandemic has taken on this sector means that social care is no longer a hidden problem, but one that the country as a whole understands. We urge the Government to now address this crisis as a matter of urgency.’
The Committee also recommended that the starting point should be an injection of £3.9 billion by 2023-24 to meet the needs of adult social care, but that this increase alone will not ‘address shortfalls in the quality of care currently provided, reverse the decline in access or stop the market retreating to providing only for self-payers’.
If councils are unable to continue to commission the support and social rehabilitation services Headway groups provide, many vulnerable people living with acquired brain injury would lose the vital support they rely on. The services brain injury survivors receive from Headway groups prevent them from seeking alternative, more costly state-funded services. Securing these preventative Headway services would stop an upturn in requests for support from a range of public services including those provided by the NHS.
We hope the government will provide additional, urgently needed funding, to adult social care in the November spending review.
In addition, a long-term funding settlement needs to be introduced to give adult social care the certainty it needs to support those people who need it most and achieve the Prime Minister’s promise to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’.Back