Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) argues that measures to address the long-term reform of adult social care need to be brought forward to tackle the significant financial, workforce and quality pressures facing the sector.
Despite a £2 billion injection for social care over three years and the publication of a Green Paper next summer, ADASS maintains that this does not address a continuing funding gap, increased support for people living longer with more complex needs and the costs of the welcome National Living Wage.
With 53 per cent of councils expecting to overspend their adult social care budgets this year by up to nearly £21 million each, ADASS has made its submission to the Autumn Budget, in which it is calling on government to bring forward clear and wide-ranging options for consultation about putting the social care system on a more secure and sustainable long-term footing beyond 2020.
It is also urging the government to build on the additional £2 billion for the period to 2019/20, afford care staff, social workers and social care nurses the same recognition as other professionals, like doctors, nurses and teachers, and develop a national recruitment campaign and addressing the uncertainty for non-UK EU citizens who are a crucial part of the social care workforce.
Margaret Willcox, President of ADASS, said: “There is a growing depth of shared concerns about the quality, safety and sufficiency of adult social care services from across the sector. This is impacting on thousands of older and disabled people and their families now. The extra £1 billion for adult social care this year barely covers the £824 million in savings that directors will have made this year and cannot hide the fact that by the end of this financial year, £6 billion has been cut from councils’ adult social care budgets since 2010 - with need for our services growing all that time.
“Adult social care needs to be a national priority and future-proofed for current and future generations who will be needing care in increasing numbers and for a longer time during their lives. More needs to be done now to secure extra recurring money to address funding gaps, address continuing service pressures and the stability of the care market.”
Accessibility is the name of this game. Web designers are getting better at addressing the issues, but general awareness of accessibility requirements is still low. This is worrying – websites that are not currently accessible are potentially breaching the Equality Act of 2010. One of the first places to look for help should be the Government Digital Service (GDS), which provides help, advice and guidance on legislation regarding accessibility.
It is surprisingly easy to start meeting the government’s accessibility requirements.
The Emergency Services Show is the UK’s leading annual showcase of the blue light sector, featuring over 450 exhibitors, live demonstrations, unique learning opportunities and unrivalled networking.
Poppy Welch looks at the role of local authorities in setting a green driving agenda and the schemes available to councils across England