Herefordshire Council has expressed concern about funding for adult social care, following a reported published by ADASS over the growing gap between need and funding.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Care (ADASS) last week reported the results of a survey of 144 councils which indicate that council-run care is unsustainable across the country. Funding cuts and rising demand are cited as the key problem and ADASS predicts the situation will get worse, despite attempts to channel extra NHS money into the system.
In Herefordshire, demand is growing, but the council is working hard to divert this demand where it can by providing information, advice and guidance and applying the council’s locally eligibility criteria. As a result, it is ensuring the needs of those who need help the most are being met (those with complex and multiple needs) and helping others to be supported in the community. For example, over the last two years, nearly sixty percent of contacts from new customers were successfully resolved by providing information and advice or signposting.
Helen Coombes, director for adult and wellbeing at Herefordshire Council, said: “Keeping people living independently, staying safe and well is fundamental to reducing demand on the NHS and the council is key to achieving this.
“Herefordshire Council has prioritised adult social care and is doing everything it can to reduce demand, pay the right price for services and develop the market so that there is a rich mix of advice and support for people to choose from. We also recognise the valuable work that communities already do and want to build on this to help them achieve more to support vulnerable people where they live.
“But although we are diverting demand, as our population ages, this demand is still growing and the needs of those who we have to support is greater and more costly. We know that the Care Act puts new duties on local authorities which will cost money to put in place and maintain. We are concerned that what is being offered by the government is not going to be enough, particularly given that the demand for care continues to rise.”
“We will be briefing the two MPs in the next few days and seeking their continued support as we lobby ministers for additional funding.”