Adult social care services in London have saved nearly half a billion pounds in the last two years by supporting people to stay at home for longer, according to new research.
London Councils said in a report, published today, that boroughs achieved £480 million in adult social care savings between 2015/16 and 2017/18 through increased efficiency.
This was achieved through focusing on supporting service users to stay in their own homes, which led to the capital reducing costs.
London has the lowest rates of admission to nursing and residential homes per 100,000 people of any region in England, according to data from NHS Digital.
The State of Adult Social Care report also revealed that adult social care services in London saved the NHS around £4.6 million a year between 2015/16 and 2017/18 through avoiding unnecessary hospital stays.
London is one of England’s top-performing regions in minimising delays to transfers of care from hospital, according to London Councils, which represents London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London.
Cllr Ray Puddifoot, London Councils’ Executive Member for Health & Care, said: “Adult social care services are essential for meeting Londoners’ needs and supporting their wellbeing, but they’re also critical to the performance and sustainability of the NHS in the capital.
“Boroughs are proud of the excellent work carried out by adult social care services across the capital. The sector has shown itself capable of adapting, innovating, and achieving impressive efficiencies – even in the face of a highly-challenging financial environment.
But as well as highlighting the success of adult social care in the capital, the umbrella group warns that the sector faces a funding gap of £540 million by 2025 unless the national shortfall in adult social care finances is addressed.
“The capital’s growing population means more and more Londoners need social care. It’s vital that services get the resources they need to cope with increasing levels of demand,” said Cllr Puddifoot.
Demand for adult social care is increasing rapidly in London. The number of Londoners aged 65 and older is expected to increase by 71% by 2039 – a faster rate than any other region in England.
The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) also estimates that the number of Londoners aged 90 and older is set to grow by 156% in the same period.
London also has a higher proportion of people of working age needing social care provision. For example, the number of working-age Londoners with a learning disability is expected to increase by 7.8% by 2035 and with impaired mobility by 14%, according to the Office of National Statistics.
London Councils said it is committed to working with the government to find a long-term funding solution for adult social care that addresses demographic growth, the increasingly complex needs of individual service users, and the rising cost burden on local authorities.