Long-term care is a significant driver of costs within social care. Local authorities in England provide an average of 312 long-term care services to elderly (65+, per 10,000 population). However, we discovered a large variation in the number of commissioned services per individual council and the type of long-term services (LTS) they predominantly provide to those aged 65+.

  • The East Midlands commissions the largest number of people in long-term care (by population) for those aged 65+. The total number of long-term services (LTS) provided is 408.57 per 10,000 population. This is almost 100 more than the national average of 312 services and almost double the amount of the South West region (227 per 10,000), which has the lowest number of commissions.
  • Looking at the service category of the long-term care service provided, it is notable that the East Midlands and London have both the highest rate of LTS and also the highest proportion of Direct Payments with 87 and 62 respectively in comparison with an average of 35 services or less for all other regions.
  • London, East of England and South West have the lowest level of LTS in Nursing and Residential with just 100 services provided per 10,000 65+ population. Across all regions, CASSR* makes up the highest proportion of services provided to the elderly.

  • London shows an average of 362 services provided per 10,000 65+ population. 
  • However, across the London boroughs the number of services commissioned to those 65+ vary greatly, ranging from 179 in Kingston-upon-Thames to 810 in Tower Hamlets. The breakdown is illustrated above.

Long term care (LTC) is a significant driver of costs within social care. Understanding what drives demand for long-term services and how this is demand can be met strategically is crucial for Local Authorities.

We discovered that there is significantly more variation in the number of long-term social care services provided to elderly (65+) within regions than there is between regions. This is a trend we are seeing different areas across England.

While demography and eligibility are still strong drivers of demand for long term care, our analysis is showing that council strategy, policies and processes are also important drivers. Councils should see this as good news. Having an effective strategy and clear plan can impact long-term care levels regardless of their demographic characteristics.

Our previous research has shown that since 2011/12, 59% of local authorities in England experienced a reduction in unit cost expenditure on adult social care – with the exception of the South West and East Midlands as the only regions to experience increasing spend per head. Therefore, our next insight on adult social care will further explore the change of spending on long-term and short-term care services over time and its regional variations. Stay tuned! 

To find out more about our research and data analysis tools or to pose a research question, speak to us at  insightstudio@uk.gt.com

Adult Social Care Insights is the online analysis tool for local authorities to better understand their Adult Social Care services and system performance, enabling the intelligible visualisation of usually disparate and complex datasets. The platform looks at the services using 5 lenses: Council context, Demand, Services provided, Costs and Outcomes - allowing councils to assess their performance now and benchmark it against peers in ways that haven't been possible before. Reach out to us at insightstudio@uk.gt.com if you want to be one of the first ones to see it.

*CASSR: Council with Adult Social Services Responsibility (includes both CASSR managed Personal Budget and CASSR commissioned support)