In a survey of more than 100 councils by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), many are reporting unprecedented demand for help.
- 82% of adult social services directors report rising demand for help from people being discharged from hospital;
- 69% report an increase in cases of domestic abuse and safeguarding of vulnerable adults;
- 63% report growing numbers of people seeking help because of the breakdown of unpaid carer arrangements through sickness or unavailability.
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.
Responding, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:
“The rise in the breakdown of unpaid carer arrangements is seriously troubling news, but sadly it has been coming for a long time with unpaid carers expected to provide extraordinary hours of care since the pandemic started nine months ago.
“When the first lockdown began, 70% of unpaid carers took on more care for loved ones. Six months later, we found that 81% were continuing to provide extraordinary hours of care for loved ones, unable to rely on day and support services and two thirds (63%) unable to take any breaks whatsoever in that time.
“The majority told us that the needs of the person they care for had increased during the pandemic, hardly surprising given that 49% of carers said that day services had not returned in their area – meaning many are now struggling alone or with a very low level of support.
“We are deeply concerned about how carers will continue to cope over the winter. The Government must ensure their health and wellbeing is protected and provide those caring for more than 50 hours a week with a funded break.
“The Chancellor must acknowledge this red flag being waved by unpaid carers and use Wednesday’s Comprehensive Spending Review to deliver vital funds for social care in the short term, and set out a stronger future for a system that desperately needs attention.”