Adult social care funding: 2016 state of the nation report

Adult social care is an absolutely vital public service that supports some of our most vulnerable people and promotes the wellbeing and independence of many more.

Taking account of the path of future funding and the full range of pressures facing councils in relation to future years compared to now, the LGA estimates that local government faces an overall funding gap of £5.8 billion by 2019/20. This is essential context and explains, in part, why adult social care funding remains under such enormous pressure. For councils with adult social care responsibilities, roughly 30 to 35 per cent of total budget will be spent on adult social care as a minimum.

In the 2010 Spending Review the then coalition government made an additional £7.2 billion available for adult social care through a combination of general grant and the NHS transfer (which subsequently formed part of the Better Care Fund). It argued that this money was sufficient to prevent a social care funding gap when combined with efficiency savings. This funding may well have had a positive impact if council funding overall was in a steady state. But, as outlined above, it was not. Therefore, between 2011/12 and 2015/16 councils had to deal with a £5 billion funding gap in adult social care.

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