Last reviewed 27 July 2021

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) Spring Survey 2021 has found that almost 7000 people have been waiting more than six months for a social care assessment.

ADASS said councils face an “avalanche of need” arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, with directors of social services reporting “unprecedented numbers” of people waiting for an assessment of their needs, or for agreed care and support arrangements to be put in place.

It said almost 75,000 people were waiting for assessments or care and support.

The waits to which people are being subjected exceed the one-month targets set by many councils and the four to six weeks considered reasonable by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO).

Figures showed that just under 55,000 people were on waiting lists for assessments with almost 20,000 others waiting for care and support or direct payments to start.

Almost 160,000 people had been waiting over a year for a care and support review, despite the Care Act statutory guidance expectation of a 12-month interval between planned reviews.

ADASS said these waits were putting older and disabled people at significant risk.

Despite the worsening delays in meeting people’s needs, ADASS said councils were being required to plan for savings of £600 million in social services spending this year.