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Latest key statistics on adult social care include council spending in 2020-21
Local authorities spent £21.2 billion on adult social care in 2020-21, statistics published today by NHS Digital show.

Local authorities spent £21.2 billion on adult social care in 2020-21, statistics published today by NHS Digital show.

The Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, England 2020-211 is among five publications which cover topics such as outcomes, activity, finance and the opinions of those receiving care. The reports relate to England and contain figures covering 2020-21.

During that period, gross current expenditure on adult social care by local authorities was £21.2 billion2.

However, some of the spending in 2020-21 does not directly relate to people whose care is supported by the local authority and so overall totals are not directly comparable with previous years. The rise in spending also reflects an increase in government funding in 2020-21 specifically to support the adult social care sector during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic3.

The other reports published today included:

  • Measures from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework, England 2020-21

This publication draws on a number of data collections and measures how well care and support services achieve the outcomes that matter most to people. This year a reduced number of indicators have been published as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected data availability.

Findings included that the proportion of new clients who received short-term services, where no further request was made for ongoing support, decreased from 79.5% in 2019-20 to 74.9% in 2020-21.

There was also a fall in the proportion of people aged 65 and over who were still at home 91 days after they were discharged from hospital into reablement or rehabilitation services, from 82.0% in 2019-20 to 79.1% in 2020-21.

Figures relating to mental health included that the proportion of women (11%) in contact with secondary mental health services in paid employment is higher than the proportion of males (7%).

The report also looks at adults in contact with secondary mental health services who are living in their own home or with family. The North East region has the highest proportion (69%) while the West Midlands has the lowest (48%).

  • Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey, England 2020-21

This annual survey4, conducted by councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs), asks service users questions about quality of life, the impact of care and support services and their general health and wellbeing.

Due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), the 2020-21 survey was voluntary so councils could choose whether or not to participate - 18 councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs) took part5. Therefore, this year’s publication is presented as Management Information6 and the findings relate solely to the participating councils, so cannot be compared to previous years.

The survey found that 67.7% of the participating service users7 were very or extremely satisfied with the care and support they received, while 2.1% were very or extremely dissatisfied with the care and support they received.

Of the service users who reported they feel clean and are able to present themselves in the way they want, 90.5% also reported they have adequate or as much control over their daily life as they want, while 9.5% feel they have no control or some control but not enough.

Among the service users of councils that took part, 34.4% reported they had as much social contact as they wanted with people they like. In contrast, 13.2% reported they had little social contact and felt socially isolated.

For service users with a primary support reason of Learning Disability Support, a higher proportion rate their health in general to be good or very good. Service users primarily receiving physical support have the highest proportion who rate their health in general to be bad or very bad. 

Also published today were two other reports - Deferred Payment Agreements 2020-218 and Guardianship under the Mental Health Act, 1983 - 2018-19, 2019-20 & 2020-219.

Key information from some of these publications will be included in the next version of Adult Social Care Statistics in England: An Overview, which brings together information collected by NHS Digital around different aspects of adult social care and covers from 2015-16 to the latest available data10.

Statistics from this publication are also accessible through a new interactive data dashboard.

Read the full reports

Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, England 2020-21

Measures from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework, England 2020-21

Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey, England 2020-21

Deferred Payment Agreements 2020-21

Guardianship under the Mental Health Act, 1983 2018-19, 2019-20 & 2020-21

Notes for editors

  1. The Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report 2020-21 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 local authorities in England for 2020-21. This is the seventh year of the SALT and ASC-FR collections, and the fifth year in which the adult social care activity and finance data have been brought together in an official statistics report. Adult social care activity provided or arranged by local authorities covers a wide range of services including long term and short-term care, plus support to carers.

  2. The England-level statistics for 2020-21 have been estimated as one local authority was not able to submit for SALT and two for ASC-FR.

  3. These figures aren’t directly comparable with previous years as much of the additional funding was to support the sector and was distributed via local authorities to settings, even if those settings weren’t supporting local authority clients. This includes government grants such as the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund and Workforce Capacity Fund for adult social care. Due to the nature of this support, it is not possible in the data to determine (and therefore exclude) the amount spent on non local authority-supported clients.

  4. The survey, which is in its eleventh year, seeks the opinions of service users aged 18 and over, who are in receipt of long-term support services, which are funded or managed by social services.

  5. The eligible population for this survey covers all service users aged 18 and over in receipt, at the point that data are extracted, of long-term support services provided or commissioned by the council or an NHS health partner under Section 75 Agreements and part of a care/support plan following an assessment of need. Due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), the 2020-21 survey was voluntary and councils could choose whether or not to participate. 18 Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs) took part in the survey.

  6. Management information describes aggregate information collated and used in the normal course of business to inform operational delivery, policy development or the management of organisational performance.

  7. The 18 CASSRs reported an eligible population totalling 62,340 service users. The eligible population reported in the 2019-20 survey, was 608,145. 24,700 service users were sent a questionnaire of which 6,695 service users completed the questionnaire. As these questionnaire responses are estimates the figures quoted in relation to the number of ‘service users’ or ‘people’ are rounded to the nearest 10. The known figures, such as the eligible population, are rounded to the nearest five.

  8. A deferred payment agreement is an arrangement with the local authority that enables people to use the value of their homes to help pay for care home costs. If eligible, the local authority will help to pay a client’s care home bills on their behalf. The client can delay repaying the local authority until they choose to sell their home, or until after their death. This publication provides information on the number and associated monetary value of adult social care deferred payment agreements in England for 2020-21.

  9. This publication contains information on the use of Guardianship under Sections 7 and 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

  10. In most cases this is information from 2019-20 but in some cases, early statistics from the first half of 2020-21 are available.

  11. Percentages are rounded to one decimal place where possible; the percentages given for each question may therefore not add up to 100 per cent. The proportions have been calculated by weighting the response data using eligible population figures, to estimate the proportion of the population who hold these views.


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Last edited: 21 October 2021 1:59 pm