ADASS calls for ‘total reset’ of adult social care

James Bullion, ADASS president

Council bosses are calling for a two-year funding settlement to help ensure the short-term sustainability of adult social care before establishing new models of provision.

A document released by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said two years of money would allow for a national conversation to take place that could help shape a vision for the sector and provide the time needed to transition to other models of care.

This could then lead to a longer-term settlement in 2022-23 for the next five-year period to embed the new approaches to care and support.

Its report, Adult Social Care – Shaping a Better Future: Nine Statements and Summary, calls for a ‘total reset’ and ‘wholesale reimaging’ of the sector.

As well as a funding settlement and conversation about system design, the document calls for a complete review of how care markets work. It said inequalities in the system that impact on people with learning disabilities and mental health, and substance misuse issues, older people, those at the end of their lives, women and BAME communities must be addressed.

Other points in the report also cover the need for a workforce strategy, fair care wages, access to digital and technological solutions, and housing. It said: ‘Every decision about care is also a decision about housing. People should be supported to live at home and remain in their communities unless their needs can only be met elsewhere.

‘We must build more care and support around people’s homes, expanding and evolving housing-based care and support such as extra care housing.’

James Bullion, ADASS president, said: ‘Social care can transform our lives. We must move away from models of care that eke out every penny, short care visits, care homes that are too big to be homes, outdated forms of care that keep people alive but don’t give them a life.

‘Rather than simply reinforcing and protecting what we have, we have an opportunity to do something fundamentally different. We must seize this opportunity to work with working age disabled people, older people, carers and those working in social care to shape a better future and to not just reimagine, but to shape the care that we all want for ourselves and our families for years to come.’

The government is due to publish its comprehensive spending review in autumn.