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State of social care in England ‘never been so bad’, social services boss warns

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The state of social care in England has “never been so bad”, the country’s leading social services chief has said, with half a million people now waiting for help.

Sarah McClinton, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), told a conference of council care bosses in Manchester: “The shocking situation is that we have more people requesting help from councils, more older and disabled with complex needs, yet social care capacity has reduced and we have 50,000 fewer paid carers.”

Over 400,000 people rely on care homes in England and more than 800,000 receive care at home. But care services are struggling with 160,000 staff vacancies, rising demand and already tight funding for social care that is being squeezed by soaring food and energy inflation.

About a third of care providers report that inability to recruit staff has negatively affected their service and many have stopped admitting new residents as a result. Last month the Care Quality Commission warned of a “tsunami of unmet care” and said England’s health and social care system was “gridlocked”. Problems in social care make it harder to free up beds in hospitals, slowing down the delivery of elective care.

“The scale of how many people are either not getting the care and support they need, or are getting the wrong kind of help, at the wrong time and in the wrong place is staggering,” said McClinton, who is also director for health and adult services in Greenwich. “It is also adding to the endless pressures we see with ambulances and hospitals, and adding to the pressures we see in our communities, more people requesting help with mental health and domestic abuse.”

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Source: The Guardian, 2 November 2022

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