Service deliveryAdult Social CareCouncils receive 5,000 adult social care requests daily

Councils receive 5,000 adult social care requests daily

The scale of the adult social care problem facing local authorities has been highlighted by NHS Digital data

A report published by NHS Digital shows that local authorities received 1.8 million new requests for adult social care support in 2017-18, an increase of 1.6 per cent on 2016-17 and equivalent to 5,100 new requests per day.

According to NHS Digital, those requests were received from 1.3 million people with those aged 65 and over accounted for 71.6 per cent of the requests. Similar to previous years, 77.1 per cent of the requests originated from the community and 20.1 per cent originated from a discharge from hospital.

Other findings in the report include:

  • Gross current expenditure by local authorities on adult social care was £17.9bn in 2017-18, an increase of £0.4bn or 2.3 per cent in cash terms6on 2016-17 (£17.5bn).
  • 9 per cent of total gross current expenditure (£14.0bn) was spent on long term care (residential, nursing or community care), an increase of £369m or 2.7 per cent on 2016/17 (£13.6bn).
  • Overall, the number of people receiving long term care provided or arranged by local authorities has decreased each year since 2015-16, down 14,750 (1.7 per cent) to 857,770 in 2017-18.  The numbers of 18-64 year olds in receipt of long term support has increased for the second year in a row, up 7,360 (2.6 per cent) to 292,380 since 2015-16, while the numbers of 65 and over in receipt of long term support has fallen for the second year in a row, down 22,110 (3.8 per cent) to 565,385 since 2015-16.
  • 6 per cent of all people receiving long term support are female.  This increases further for those supported in a residential home (61.9 per cent) and further still when considering those in a nursing home (63.4 per cent).

Adult Social Care Activity and Finance, England 2017-18 is an annual report that provides information on the gross current expenditure of councils on adult social care as well as information on long term care activity, short term activity to maximise independence, and support provided to carers.

Commenting on the publication of the data, Dylan Champion, Head of Health and Social Care at Agilisys, said: “This report highlights the difficulties people face in getting the help with their care that they require. It also demonstrates the sheer scale of the challenge faced by local authorities, with an increasing number of new requests for support received each day. This is coupled with a complex funding environment and even more complex delivery arrangements.

“A fundamental look at how we fund, design and deliver health and social care is required urgently and for everyone involved, the promised White Paper can’t come soon enough.”

As part of the statistical release, the Adult Social Care Deferred Payment Agreements report has been published, providing experimental statistics on the arrangements made with local authorities that enable people to use the value of their homes to help pay for care home costs.

Measures from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework, England 2017-18, a compendium of adult social care indicators reported on during the year, has also been published. This includes information on delayed transfers of care and self-reported social care-related quality of life, levels of control and social contact. This year, the report has been presented in an interactive and accessible format.

The Adult Social Care Activity and Finance report can be read in full here.

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