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20% wiped off adult care budgets in three years, report directors
09 May 2013

Community CareAlmost twenty per cent has been wiped off adult social care budgets in England since the coalition government's programme of spending cuts began in 2011, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has revealed.

Its latest budget survey found that councils have reduced their adult social care budgets by £800m in 2013-14, bringing the total level of real-terms spending cuts to £2.68bn since 2011, almost one-fifth of the £14.6bn that was spent by councils in 2010-11, net of client contributions.

Behind the Adass figures

In 2010-11, English councils spent £14.6bn, net of service user charges, on adult social care, according to official figures.

Adass's three budget surveys since then have found that £2.68bn has been cut from this total. The actual total is likely to be a little higher as none of the surveys received responses from all 152 local authorities; 145 responded this year, for instance.

However, the £2.68bn figure does not mean that budgets have been reduced by this amount in cash terms. The reduction is net of both inflation and funding to cover demographic pressures, the rising number of older and disabled people with eligible care needs. This is justified on the basis that increases to cover inflation and demography simply enable councils to "stand still".

While most of this year's reduction is coming from efficiency savings (82%), 13%, or £104m, derives from reducing the level of services provided to individuals or restricting eligibility. Thirty per cent of directors surveyed by Adass said that one impact of savings made to date is that fewer people can access services, while a similar proportion said that people were receiving personal budgets of reduced value

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