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Care bosses have insisted the Government must urgently stabilise the sector with emergency funds. The crisis means older and disabled people are suffering, according to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.
Adass conducted a survey of 85 social care bosses. It found that 48 percent of councils reported care home closures or providers going out of business in the past six months.
An estimated 204,241 people are waiting to have their social care needs assessed.
There are also 25,468 thought to be waiting for care or a direct payment so they can organise their care, and 166,136 waiting for an overdue review of their care plan.
Of those waiting for an initial assessment, more than 40,000 have been waiting longer than half a year, the survey found.
Adass president Stephen Chandler said: “This survey confirms our worst fears. Red lights are flashing right across our dashboard.
“Despite magnificent efforts by the committed, courageous and compassionate people working in social care, who are delivering extraordinary amounts of care and support, services are failing to meet everyone’s needs ‑ and older and disabled people are suffering.
“The Government must now acknowledge the scale of the crisis and step in with emergency funding and measures to ensure we can get through the winter ahead.”
Adass is calling for the Government to commit to a £1,000 retention bonus to stem the tide of carers quitting to work in sectors with better pay and hours.
It also wants to see £1.5billion invested immediately to prevent the further collapse of services, and the equivalent amount to support unpaid carers.
Dr Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, said that staff are quitting “every day” to work in sectors such as retail and hospitality, with managers stepping in because they cannot fill rotas.
He said: “The erosion of support for people who draw on social care services is happening locally, in people’s homes and out of sight.
“The realities of Government’s under-funding of social care is having profound consequences on the quality of life for disabled people.”
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Councillor David Fothergill, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “As we head into another difficult winter, these figures are a stark reminder of the immense scale of the challenge facing people in need or in receipt of adult social care and those who work with them.”
Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers and deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “Staff in the social care system are working flat out to ensure people get the care they need.
“The challenges they face have been unsustainable for some time. There can be no further delay.”
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