The cost of the care challenge

By Michael Burton | 15 May 2019

The social care Green Paper may have become as mythical as the unicorn but in advance of its possible publication the King’s Fund recently produced an analysis of the current state of play on social care funding and expenditure in England.

In real terms total spending by the 152 councils responsible for social care is still £700m below 2010/11 when austerity was deemed to have begun. In 2017/18, total expenditure on adult social care by local authorities was £21.3bn, up £684m (3.3%) from the previous year. This partly explains why ministers can claim that social care spending is up but it does not take into account the fact that local authorities have sought to protect care budgets and that the total is still £700m below 2010/11 despite rising demand. Local authorities are also now spending nearly as much money on long-term care for working-age adults with disabilities as on older people.

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