The number of people waiting for care assessments is on the increase despite councils delivering more care and support in people’s homes, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has warned.
A rapid survey of ADASS members found that 70,000 people are waiting for care assessments, up from 55,000 three months ago, when the organisation conducted its Spring Survey.
At least 11,000 people have been waiting for more than six months for an assessment of their care needs, compared to 7,000 at the time of the Spring Survey, and up to 184,062 are waiting for reviews of existing care and support plans, an increase of 15.6% over the last three months.
ADASS noted that there has been a “significant increase” in the number of home care hours being delivered in local authority areas, with 14.4 million hours of care being provided between May 1 and July 31 compared to 13.8 million hours from February 1 to April 30.
But it warned that the number of hours of care that are needed locally but that there is not the capacity to deliver has doubled over the last six months.
Reflecting on the findings of the survey, Stephen Chandler, ADASS President, said: “Having heard the Government’s initial thinking about the longer-term future, this survey is a stark reminder of why we need investment in care and support now.
“It is neither fair nor acceptable that people are waiting longer and getting less care. People need care and support to live a good life now. They cannot, and should not be made to wait.”
ADASS directors said the top three solutions that would help alleviate current workforce issues are funding, better recognition from the Prime Minister and ministers of the equal value of social care staff alongside their NHS colleagues, and the extension of the workforce grant across the remainder of the current financial year.