Analysis by London Councils shows that had adult social care spending risen in line with NHS spending since 2010, an additional £800 million would be available to spend on the sector in 2020/21.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, London’s adult social care sector faced a funding shortfall of £130 million this year, which could expand to £600 million by 2025, unless investment is increased to meet demand for services.
Boroughs argue that parity with NHS funding growth will help ensure the effectiveness of all parts of the health and care system in the face of future pressures.
Cllr Damian White, London Councils’ Executive Member for Health & Care, said: “The sector is an invaluable part of our health and care system – and that’s why it needs the same funding increases as the NHS.
“Providing assured, long-term investment in both health and social care is the best way of sustaining services and making sure Londoners receive the support they need in future years.”
Reacting to yesterdays’ spending review, Cllr Georgia Gould, Chair of London Councils, said London boroughs still face a funding shortfall of over £500 million this year – even with the support announced by the government.
“We are disappointed that this one-year settlement for local government means we can only plan for the next year and gives us no long-term certainty over our finances,” she said.
Demand for adult social care is increasing rapidly in London, with the capital’s population growing particularly among groups likely to require social care.
Even though London has a generally younger population than the rest of the country, 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. In the same time period, the number of Londoners aged 90 and older is set to grow by 156%, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.
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%, Projecting Adult Needs and Service Information (PANSI) said.