Sharp increase in demand for adult social services, survey finds

The coronavirus pandemic has caused rising demand in the need to help people being discharged from hospital, as well as increases in cases of domestic abuse and safeguarding of vulnerable adults.

A survey of councils across England has found sharp increases in requests for help from people being discharged from hospital, fleeing from domestic abuse, or losing their regular support from unpaid carers.

The survey, carried out by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), sought the views of more than 100 councils.

The results offer more evidence of the debilitating effects of the pandemic on society with many councils reporting ‘unprecedented demand’ for help.

Four-in-five (82%) of adult social services directors report rising demand for help from people being discharged from hospital, while 69% report an increase in cases of domestic abuse and safeguarding of vulnerable adults.

Three fifths (63%) of directors also report growing numbers of people seeking help because of the breakdown of unpaid carer arrangements through sickness or unavailability.

James Bullion, ADASS President, said: “This report paints a stark picture of how the pandemic has affected millions of us who have care and support needs, or who care for a family member who does.

“For the first time, we have hard evidence of the scale and breadth of the impact of Covid-19 on those of us who are working-age disabled people, older people, family members, and carers.”

ADASS is warning that unless adult social care is prioritised in the government spending review on Wednesday, millions of people could be at risk of receiving no care or support as the crisis continues and its impact becomes ever starker.

The survey results are released ahead of the much-anticipated Autumn Spending Review by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, due to be released this Wednesday (25 November).

ADASS is seeking a package in the Spending Review that they say would “stabilise the adult social care system next year, meet all Covid-19 costs and offer some certainty for the longer term including multi-year funding settlements.”

The report is based on a survey of local authorities (101 of 151) in England. Responses were received between 22nd October and 13th November 2020.

You can read the full report at https://mcusercontent.com/83b2aa68490f97e9418043993/files/adb90de5-202b-4974-817d-2d6e5403ce5b/ADASS_Autumn_Survey_Report_2020_EMBARGOED_UNTIL_6AM_23_11_20.pdf

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