The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) is calling for more than £1.2bn in government funding to ensure vulnerable people get the care they need in their own homes, and to support informal carers through the winter months.
The organisation, which represents directors of adult social services departments in English local authorities, said the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that more people are opting to receive care and support in their own homes.
This means more demand for domiciliary care, increasing the use of direct payments to employ personal assistants, and greater interest in other forms of community support such as Shared Lives and supported living.
It has also meant a greater onus on family carers to provide an ever-increasing proportion of that care and support, the organisation said.
ADASS is therefore calling for £480 million to allow local authorities to invest in the upscaling of community care provision and a further £1.2bn to ensure that unpaid family carers get the breaks they need.
ADASS president James Bullion said that care at home and support for carers are an “essential part of the picture of easing the position of the NHS” and without this investment, there will be an increase in hospital admissions.
“This is not a nicety. It is a necessity. Without a stronger focus on care at home and greater support for family carers, those of us who have care and support needs will not receive that care, and our family carers will face an intolerable winter,” he said.
“During the first wave of the pandemic, much was made of the need to protect the NHS. The reality is that we only protect the NHS by equally protecting social care, and we will only protect the NHS and social care by protecting family carers.”