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Social care for adults with learning disabilities in England: trends over time

Chris Hatton (Centre for Disability Research, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Article publication date: 17 May 2019

Issue publication date: 17 May 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine trends over time in social care usage and expenditure for adults with learning disabilities in England.

Design/methodology/approach

Returns from councils with social services responsibilities in England concerning social care usage and expenditure were analysed to examine the national picture and trends over time for adults with learning disabilities.

Findings

In 2017/2018, 147,915 adults with learning disabilities were receiving long-term social care, an increase of 5.7 per cent from 2014/2015. Social care expenditure increased by 10.2 per cent from 2014/2015 to £5.54bn in 2017/2018; adjusted for inflation this was a 2.7 per cent increase. For adults with learning disabilities who receive social care, increasing numbers of people are living with families or in supported accommodation/living, with gradual declines in the number of people living in residential or nursing care. The number of adults with learning disabilities in temporary accommodation is small but increasing.

Social implications

While councils appear to be attempting to protect social care for adults with learning disabilities in the face of cuts to council expenditure, social care expenditure and coverage are not keeping pace with likely increases in the number of adults with learning disabilities requiring social care.

Originality/value

This paper presents in one place statistics concerning long-term social care for adults with learning disabilities in England.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The writing of this paper has been supported by Public Health England, as part of the work of the Public Health England Learning Disabilities Observatory. Views expressed in this paper are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Public Health England.

Citation

Hatton, C. (2019), "Social care for adults with learning disabilities in England: trends over time", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 94-100. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-02-2019-0003

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited