ADASS has published the second of two reports which together paint a vivid picture of the terrible impact of the Covid-19 pandemic for those of us who need social care, our family carers those organisations providing these crucial services.
The first report laid bare the impact upon those of us who are older or disabled, who have care and support needs and our families. Today’s report reveals the scale of the financial impact of the pandemic and its very real consequences on the care and support of millions, the ability of local authorities to fund adult care, and the very viability of thousands of caring organisations that provide vital support that enables millions of us to live good lives.
The annual Budget Survey serves as a barometer of the financial state of social care. Government took swift action in March on COVID 19 and councils responded. Our survey shows the need for further action this year or action to protect people and care services so those vulnerable people we protected can get back normal lives. It shows that next year we lack the resources to ensure decent levels of service. Whilst the headlines findings inevitably focus on finances, the important messages relate to what the reduction in social care budgets means for millions of working age disabled people, and older people with care and support and needs and their families.
Launching the report, James Bullion, ADASS President said:
Coronavirus has exposed dreadful inequalities relating to people’s mental health, people with learning disabilities, older people at the end of their lives in nursing homes, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and poorer communities.
It has also highlighted the courage, compassion and commitment of care staff and the essential work they do. The public are now more aware than ever of how essential social care is to our society.
These reports are a wake-up call that requires a clear response. Urgent action is needed to plug the financial black hole that has been blown in local government finances, to properly recognise and reward colleagues working in social care, stabilise providers of care and most importantly safeguard and ultimately enhance the care and support available to those of us who need it.
Without such action, local authorities will run out of money, care providers will go to the wall, many of us will not get the care and support we need, and the economy will take a further hit as more of us are forced to give up work to fill the caring gaps. Prioritising social care is the right thing to do morally, ethically, economically and politically. We must act now, for all our sakes.