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Mid-Year 2020-21 Adult Social Care Activity [MI]

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Mid-Year 2020-21 Adult Social Care Activity [MI]


Local Authorities are part of the front line of organisations dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in England. This management information is not looking directly at the response to the crisis. Instead, it aims to give users some insight into the impact of the pandemic on the ongoing statutory duties of local authorities to provide assessments, support and funding for the appropriate level of social care needed by its adult population, and to safeguard its citizens from abuse or deprivations of liberty.

NHS Digital usually collects this information on adult social care activity in England on an annual basis. However, because of the unprecedented situation this year and the requirement to see early data, our key customers endorsed a one-off mid-year collection to capture data from 01 April 2020 – 30 September 2020.

Data was collected from local authorities on a voluntary basis, to a shorter timeline and without much of the comprehensive data quality assurance usually in place for the equivalent annual data collections. For these reasons the data is released as Management Information, rather than Official Statistics.

Adult Social Care Analytical Hub

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81% of local authorities in England provided data to this one-off, voluntary data collection.

Long term support

The number of clients in receipt of long term social care support at the end of March 2020 was lower than the previous year, and this decreased further in the first half of 2020-21. Support by setting has remained broadly stable so far in 2020 for those aged 18-64, where around 84% were supported in a community setting. In the same period, the proportion of people aged 65 and in nursing and residential settings has reduced (notably in nursing homes, from 12.9% at the end of March to 11.3% at the end of September).

Safeguarding activity

There appears to have been a slight increase of approximately 4% in the total number of safeguarding concerns raised to local authorities so far this year, compared to half the annual total from 2019-20, and a c.9% decrease in the enquiries that commenced in the period. Of the concluded Section 42 enquiries, the incident is more likely to be reported as occurring in a person’s own home (50.8% of all cases so far in 2020-21, compared to 44.7% in 2019-20), and conversely less likely to have been reported as taking place in a care home setting (29.2%, compared to 34.1% last year).

DoLS applications

Fewer applications for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were received by local authorities in the first half of 2020-21 (a decrease of 3.3% compared to the first half of 2019-20, following many years of increasing volumes). The number of applications completed also fell, by 16.5%, compared to the first half of 2019-20.

Last edited: 21 June 2021 5:01 pm

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