Social care “cannot make do any longer”, ADASS president Stephen Chandler warned today as he called on the government to fulfil its promise of a once-in-generation transformation of care and support for older and disabled people.
Speaking at the opening session of the annual National Children and Adult Services Conference, Chandler (pictured) said the funding so far committed to deliver long-awaited reform of adult social care in England was “grossly inadequate”.
He added: “Adult social care deserves more. It deserves better.”
Chandler paid tribute to the “magnificent” dedication of unpaid carers, social care workers, volunteers, charities, care providers and council staff and elected members throughout the Covid pandemic.
He expressed disappointment that the government had not responded to a call by ADASS for a £1,000 bonus for care workers and funded breaks for the most hard-pressed unpaid carers in recognition of their unrelenting commitment.
Both measures would cost less than 1% of what had been spent in fighting the pandemic and would help see the care sector safely through a winter that had all the hallmarks of a “perfect storm”, he warned.
Chandler welcomed the greater public awareness of the role of adult social care that had come about as a result of the pandemic. And he thanked the government for embarking upon reforms that the sector had been urging “for decades”.
The challenge now was to “close the deal on the right reforms to make adult social care fit for the modern era and a proper pillar of our welfare state, almost 75 years after it was given a walk-on part”, Chandler said.
The NCAS Conference is taking place virtually over three days.