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Publication, Part of

Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, England, 2021-22

National statistics, Official statistics

National Statistics

Current Chapter

Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, England, 2021-22

ASC-FR RO3 reconciliation exercise with DLUHC

A piece of work was conducted in partnership with DLUHC to reconcile the difference between ASC-FR and RO3 net current expenditure.  Local authorities were contacted and asked to provide comments on why net current expenditure differed in the two returns. The comments have been categorised in the Data Quality Summary excel tables.

23 January 2023 11:15 AM


This publication contains data taken from the Adult Social Care Finance Return (ASC-FR) and Short and Long Term (SALT) collection to provide information regarding adult social care activity and finance on Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs) in England for 2021-22. CASSRs will be referred to as local authorities throughout this report.

Aggregate data is mandated to be collected from 152 local authorities in England, to provide insight into adult social care activity and expenditure for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.

Adult Social Care, like many public services, continued to be impacted considerably by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2021-22. Operationally, local authorities will have responded to these challenges differently; some services may have been paused due to restrictions, or to support other activities, and the associated spend and activity may have been captured locally in different ways. As such, even though NHS Digital is collecting the same data, the pandemic is affecting trends and making comparisons over time difficult.

Key Facts

The England-level statistics for 2021-22 have been estimated as one local authority was not able to submit for SALT and two for ASC-FR.

Gross current expenditure

Gross current expenditure on adult social care by local authorities was £22.0 billion. This represents an increase of £0.7 billion (3.4%) from the previous year.


This is influenced by an increase in government funding in 2020-21 and 2021-22 specifically to support the adult social care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic; reported income from Specific and Special Grants remains at £3.0 billion (up £1.5 billion from pre-pandemic periods). Some of this spending does not directly relate to clients whose care is supported by the local authority and so overall totals are not directly comparable to previous years.

Expenditure on long term support

Three quarters (75.4% or £16.6 billion) of total gross current expenditure was spent on long term support, this has increased by £941 million (6.0%) compared to 2020-21.

Long term support

2021-22 saw the lowest number of clients receiving long term care during the year at 817,915. This has decreased by 23,325 clients since 2020-21.


Overall, the number of clients receiving long term care has decreased since 2015-16. This downward trend has been mainly driven by a decrease in clients aged 65 and over receiving long term care, down 58,485 to 529,010 since 2015-16.


The continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic reported by local authorities has contributed to the reduced number of clients in long term care.

Requests for support

Almost 2.0 million requests for adult social care support from 1.4 million new clients, for which an outcome was determined in 2021-22, were received by local authorities. This is equivalent to 5,420 requests for local authority support received per day in England by local authorities (up 170 requests per day on last year).


Local authorities reported reasons for the fluctuation since last year included; reduction in requests during the first year of the pandemic period and levels have recovered back to normal, change in recording processes and case management systems, improved reporting, and increased demand for services.

Last edited: 27 September 2023 2:24 pm