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By Debbie le Quesne

ADASS fact-finding budget a worrying snapshot

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The latest document on monies and adult social care was never going to be happy reading.

Produced by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), it gives a harrowing insight of what could be the future for care providers and their clients.

After reading and digesting a plethora of graphs and words in the ADASS Budget Survey 2015 I need a drink – well, at least a proper coffee.

The annual ADASS Budget digest is promoted as “an authoritative analysis of the state of adult social care finances” and indeed does provide in-depth intelligence on how adult social care is responding to the challenges of meeting increased demand and managing reducing resources.

The survey, with some 147 of the 155 local authorities in England responding, is a snapshot – albeit a very complex one – of the current state of play.

We all know that more people are living longer with more complex needs that require vital care, support and protection from adult social care in councils.

But this year (2015/16) councils are running out of “efficiencies”, warns the report and “will make service reductions of £420 million to people needing that care and support and their carers.”

The figure is eye-watering for a social care market that is creaking.

Note this well: There have been five years of funding reductions totalling £4.6 billion and representing 31 per cent of real terms net budgets. This year, adult social care budgets will reduce by a further £0.5 billion in cash terms.

Taking the growth in numbers of older and disabled people into account, this means that an additional £1.1 billion would be needed to provide the same level of service as last year, the report says.

There are more than 400,000 fewer people receiving social care services since 2009-10, and of those who are still supported, a significant number will get less care. Most directors expect that still fewer people will get access to services over the next two years.

We’re a creative thinking bunch – those who manage in the care sector – but every one is now struggling to carve more costs away and not least, local authorities.

Listen to this: The proportion of savings secured through efficiency has fallen from 80 per cent in 2014/15 to 75 per cent in 2015/16 and at the same time savings from income has increased from 4 per cent to 6 per cent, and from service reductions from 16 per cent to 18 per cent over the same period. Simply put, it means fewer savings are proportionately being made from efficiencies and more from charges and reducing frontline services.

There is so much material in this non-political document, I’m proposing to post a number of blogs on what I believe are the salient points.

Where’s the chocolate . . . I need sweet tea or may be a stiff coffee. Now!

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