Almost 400,000 people are now waiting for an assessment of their care needs

A snap survey of the state of social care services has revealed a rapidly deteriorating picture for hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people left waiting for help.

Directors of social services across England are expressing unprecedented alarm at the findings as winter approaches. They say the government must act to stabilise the care system. The survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has found that:

  • Almost 400,000 people are now waiting for an assessment of their needs or service.

  • More than 1.5 million hours of commissioned home care could not be provided between August and October because of a lack of staff.

  • One in two councils has had to respond to a care home closure or bankruptcy over the past six months.

Stephen Chandler, ADASS president, said:

“This survey confirms our worst fears. Red lights are flashing right across our dashboard. Despite magnificent efforts by the committed, courageous and compassionate people working in social care who are delivering extraordinary amounts of care and support, services are failing to meet everyone’s needs and older and disabled people are suffering."

“The government must now acknowledge the scale of the crisis and step in with emergency funding and measures to ensure we can get through the winter ahead.”


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