ADASS: social care needs immediate cash, new recruits

Social care needs an immediate cash injection and new recruits to support its exhausted workforce, according to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

Social services leaders warned the action is necessary to ensure vital services for older people, disabled people, families and carers do not collapse as the Covid-19 pandemic hits a new peak.

The charity said “alarming gaps” are appearing in social care teams through Covid infection, self-isolation and sheer fatigue as the already undermanned sector is being expected to ease the strain on the NHS by supporting people discharged from hospital to free up beds. 

Extra funding is needed this week to pay for additional staff and care, it added.

ADASS has asked for an additional £480m in England to increase provision of care at home for older and disabled people so that they can live independently, with good support, and can be kept out of hospital for as long as possible.

“Like our NHS colleagues, social care workers have never been under such pressure. They are doing more than ever before, but absences are high and rising and our capacity to keep vital services going is at grave risk,” said ADASS president James Bullion (pictured).

ADASS also issued an urgent plea for anyone with experience of care work to consider returning to the job to help the care sector get through the coming weeks.

“We need funding, now, to enable care providers to recruit extra skilled pairs of hands and we are asking anyone who has done care work in the past to think very seriously about returning to help us get through this. Every single person who steps forward will be making a huge contribution,” said Bullion.

The association is also seeking extra help for family carers who are providing the most intense support for loved ones. It says an extra direct payment of £50 a week for carers during the worst of the pandemic to enable them to pay for respite breaks and keep going until the pandemic eases.

Bullion added: “Family carers are playing a vital part in our national struggle against this deadly virus. If we fail to back them up, we will pay a high price when those they support fall back on the health and care services.”