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LGA - Councils need support and funding for adult social care assurance process

Councils need support and funding for adult social care assurance process

The new assurance process for council adult social care services is time and energy intensive, interviews with the pilot councils show.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales is calling for a guarantee of adequate new burdens funding for the process, as well as sufficient advance notice of the assessments for councils.

With five pilots completed, the Care Quality Commission regulator will begin a new assessment regime which will see councils handed an overall rating of either ‘inadequate’, ‘requires improvement’, ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ as part of a new system of adult social care assurance introduced by the Government. Following interviews with those pilot councils, it is evident that a significant amount of work is required to prepare and execute these assessments.

Adult social care has faced over a decade of underfunding and unmet and under-met need has grown as a consequence. With no extra money announced for adult social care in the Autumn Statement councils will struggle to keep up with demography, pay and inflationary pressures. There is also concern that the implications of underfunding councils may not be taken into account in the ratings given.

The LGA says that the Government should guarantee of adequate new burdens funding for the process including committing to reviewing and increasing the funding if necessary. The learning from the pilots must be carried through into full rollout.

Additionally, councils in the first tranche of assessments need to be notified as soon as possible given the significant amount of preparatory work required in advance of assessment team on-site visit

Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board said: “While councils are very willing to participate in this process, the current precarious position of adult social care must be recognised.

“Despite unmet and under met need remaining concerningly high, councils received no additional funding for adult social care in the Autumn Statement.

“The added workload these assessments are causing for councils must be addressed and councils should be given appropriate additional funding and support in order to participate in them effectively.”

Cathie Williams, Chief Executive of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said: “The pilots have shown the assurance process takes up a huge amount of time and energy within local authorities, at a time when social care teams are already under pressure with growing numbers of people needing care and support, budgets under severe strain and high levels of vacancies.  To ensure assurance doesn’t take away from support going to people who need social care, the Government must provide local authorities with additional funding and resource to carry this out.

“We’re also keen to work with the Department of Health and Social Care on what support will be available for councils following assessments, as that will be vital in maximising the impact of this new assessment programme."

Notes to editors

The Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services are Partners in Care and Health (PCH), working with other well-respected organisations.

PCH helps councils to improve the way they deliver adult social care and public health services and helps Government understand the challenges faced by the sector.

Read the full interviews here.

Original article link: https://www.local.gov.uk/about/news/councils-need-support-and-funding-adult-social-care-assurance-process

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