National disability charity, Sense, has responded to today’s Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) report, which revealed that despite increased Government funding, the social care sector is struggling to keep pace with increasing demand for services.
Sense, which supports people with sensory impairments and complex needs, has been calling for the Government to provide a long-term social care strategy that acknowledges the vital support care services provide for both the elderly and disabled people in order to ensure the system’s sustainability.
Kate Fitch, Head of Public Policy at national disability charity, Sense, said:
“Although it is positive that the Government responded to the sector’s recent concerns by investing the cash needed to prevent the system’s immediate collapse, today’s ADASS findings highlight that the problems facing social care are complex and cannot simply be solved by a lump sum of funding, however big the pot. Ever-increasing demand for services will continue to force councils to cut budgets, unless a long-term strategy is provided that acknowledges the complexity of social care services and the diversity of those who rely on these services.
“At the present time, the Government’s focus on social care reform has been on ‘care for the elderly’, but in reality the sector is much broader than that, with over one third of people accessing services actually under the age of 65. If the Government wishes to avert the social care crisis, reform and change is needed to ensure the sector is equipped to keep pace with the growing care needs of the country as a whole.
“The upcoming green paper offers a prime opportunity tackle financial sustainability of the sector; however the Government cannot afford to leave disabled people out of the conversation or continue to ignore the fact that a great deal of the growing demand pressuring council budgets is driven by working age adults with learning disabilities, who currently account for nearly 50% of expenditure.
“If it truly wishes to protect the future of the system, the Government must acknowledge the crucial role social services play every day in supporting disabled people to remain active members of their community. We look forward to working with the Government to ensure that the quality care that disabled people deserve is an integral part of its plans to reform and protect the sector.”