This summer’s green paper on adult social care should encompass both the needs of the disabled as well as the elderly, according to the Adult Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).
In a letter to Theresa May, ADASS president Glen Garrod urged the Prime Minster to read the association’s response to Jeremy Hunt’s green paper principles outlined on World Social Work Day (20 March).
In March, Hunt told the sector it needed a “relentless and unswerving focus” on providing the highest standards of care “whatever a person’s age or condition”.
ADASS echoed calls for improvement across the whole system in its statement, stressing government discussions on reform “should not just be about older people”.
Support for the many
“There are many people requiring support from social care of a working age alongside young people with profound disabilities moving into adulthood. We need something that works for all the generations,” ADASS said.
The association added it was “increasingly a matter of chance” whether people received free or means tested support and called for “clarity and certainty” around what financial support service users would receive from the state.
“As a society, we need to decide how we pay for adult social care in the longer term, whether through taxation, changing benefits, savings and insurance or through the value of people’s houses.”
“We advocate a greater pooling of risk across society and believe the state should extend its role in securing sufficient resources,” it said.
Sustainability and regulation
In addition to calling for a social care system that “works for all generations”, the association outlined the need for “a sustainable funding model” and greater “economic regulation” of the market.
ADASS expressed its concern at “a lack of clarity and transparency” from some care providers in regard to decisions made about expenditure.
It is: “Vulnerable people of any age should not have to move from their settled place of residence because of increasing provider failure. It cannot be right that the lives of thousands of vulnerable people hang on the decisions of investors who have bought the debts of parent companies.
“There needs to be greater market transparency and economic regulation looking at fee rates, profit margins, funding sources and risks – for both state-funded and self-funded recipients.”
The association added that this could be carried out by the Care Quality Commission or local authorities.