Adult social care

We act on behalf of local authorities in London to highlight the specific needs of the London boroughs as they fulfil their statutory responsibilities to provide adult social care.

Our work on adult social care aims to

  • raise awareness about the challenges boroughs are facing in delivering and commissioning adult social care.
  • support London local authorities by providing London focused adult social care briefings and analysis
  • give local authorities an opportunity to share the best practice and to contribute to the development of local policy issues, through organising pan London meetings and other activities.

London Councils works closely with a range of partners including:

For further information about our work on social care policy please contact: Francesca Rowson

The role of councils in social care has shifted significantly over the last few decades, from provision of services, to commissioning and increasingly to personalisation by supporting people to choose and manage the support they want to meet their own needs. 

However, it has become increasingly difficult for local authorities to carry out this role as they have faced increasing budgetary pressures. Social care is absorbing a rising proportion of the resources available to councils. The amount of local government funding allocation being spent on statutory services such as social care is expected to continue to increase in the coming years.

The scale of the funding crisis in adult social care (ASC) is such that it has required several major policy and funding interventions by government during the 2015 Spending review.

Undoubtedly, the cuts to social care would have been even worse had the government not been forced to intervene with these emergency interventions which have totalled over £3.7 billion across England. London boroughs have received around £475 million of this funding.

However, despite these additional funding boosts, this additional funding has not fully met the funding gap in the sector. Adult social care in London continues to face a number of challenges arising from a combination of long-term public spending constraint, significant demographic growth and increased complexity of cases.

The population of London is different from the rest of the country and is generally much younger than the rest of the country. London has higher numbers of people aged between 25 and 45 and lower than the England average for those aged 45 and above, this is particularly more evident for those aged 65 and above.

The younger profile of London can be primarily attributed to the influx of working age population due to a reasonably buoyant labour market and a considerable proportion of rented houses more likely to be occupied by unmarried young people without children. The implications of this age variance between London and other regions is that the formulas used for funding adult social care are weighted in favour of elderly populations, London’s younger population therefore puts London at a disadvantage when it comes to funding

London Council estimates estimate that by 2025 London will have a funding gap in the region of over half a billion pounds (£540 million) in adult social care.