Most users happy with social care but fewer receiving support

Number receiving council-funded support falls by 7% from 2010-11 to 2011-12, the first year of the government's deficit reduction programme.

Most service users are happy with their social care support but fewer are being funded by councils to receive it, official statistics have shown.

Sixty three per cent of people said they were extremely or very satisfied with the care and support they received, found the second annual personal social services adult social care survey, which polled over 65,000 council-funded service users in England. The findings, published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, were broadly similar to last year’s survey.

However, the number of people supported by councils through the formal social care system fell by 7% to 1.5m in 2011-12, the first year of the government’s cuts programme that will see overall funding for authorities shrink by 28% in real terms from 2011-15.

The 2011-12 figure marks a 17% fall on the number of people who were supported by councils in 2006-7, though authorities have attributed some of this reduction to improvements in data collection and more people having their needs met outside the formal community care system.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre figures also confirm a 40% rise in the number of community-based service users on personal budgets from 2010-11 to 2011-12, which was identified in a separate survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. Overall, 527,000 people in England received a personal budget, 43% of community-based service users, up from 29% in 2010-11.

However, while the Adass survey found that the number of direct payments had remained stable for the second year running, today’s information centre figures show a rise of 11% in the number of direct payment users (to 139,000) and of two percentage points (12% to 14%) in the proportion of community-based clients receiving cash payments.

About today’s figures

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (formerly the NHS Information Centre) published three sets of statistics today:

  • Provisional figures on social services activity in 2011-12, including the numbers of contacts received by adult social services, the number of assessments and reviews and the number of people supported by councils. This was based on data supplied by councils.
  • The provisional results of the personal social services adult social care survey, which was carried out by councils.
  • The first year’s figures for the adult social care outcomes framework, which brings together 14 measures to assess the quality of council-funded social care in England, including information on service user satisfaction, the proportion of people on personal budgets or direct payments, and the proportions of people with learning disabled or mental health service users who were in paid employment or settled accommodation.

Related articles

Direct payments stall amid hike in personal budgets 

Adult social care was being trimmed before coalition’s cuts



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