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English councils spent 3pc more on adult social care

Local authorities spent £22 billion on adult social care in 2021-22, NHS Digital statistics show.

The Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, England 2021-22 show that expenditure was up £0.7 billion from the previous year. The findings of the 2021-22 report also show:

  • £16.6 billion (75.4 per cent) of the total expenditure went on long term support, an increase of £0.9 billion compared with 2020-21.
  • There were almost 2.0 million requests for adult social care support from nearly 1.4 million new service users received by local authorities in 2021-22. This is equivalent to 5,420 requests per day in England, up by 170 requests per day on last year.
  • The number of service users receiving long term care has decreased to 818,000, continuing the downward trend in the number of service users receiving long term care since 2015-16. This is mainly driven by a decrease in those aged 65 and over, as well as the continued impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic reported by local authorities.

Responding, Cllr Andrew Western, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said that public service funding cuts would put the Levelling Up agenda: “It is crucial that local services have a long-term, sustainable future which gives councils certainty over their funding. This includes the urgent need for clarity from the Government on which local government funding reforms will happen and when.”

He explained that inflation, increases to the National Living Wage and higher energy costs had added at least £2.4 billion in extra costs onto the budgets councils set in March this year. Local government now faces a funding gap of £3.4 billion in 2023/24 and £4.5 billion in 2024/25.

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