Council spending on adult social care in England fell slightly in real terms from 2006-7 to 2007-8, official figures confirmed today.
Health and social care statistics body the NHS Information Centre said councils spent £20.7bn, including charges to users, on social care in 2007-8, with £15.27bn spent on adults and £5.42bn on children.
When adjusted for inflation, adult spending fell by 0.5% and children’s spending rose by 0.75%, while overall spending was relatively stable.
Among adult client groups, expenditure on older people fell by 1.7% in real terms to £8.77bn, spending was relatively stable for physically disabled adults (£1.48bn) and those with mental health problems (£1.12bn), while there was a real terms rise of 1.8% in funding for learning disability services to £3.45bn.
Despite the increase in learning disability spending, Mencap lambasted the overall fall in expenditure on adult care. David Congdon, head of campaigns and policy at the charity, said: “The figures published today reveal the true horror of the social care crisis. It is outrageous that the spending on social care has been cut at a time when demand for services in increasing.
“The government must take action by providing an immediate and substantial increase in funding so the social care system doesn’t continue to fail our most vulnerable citizens.”