Social care needs ‘sustained post-pandemic recovery’, boroughs declare ahead of Budget

Long-term stability is crucial to the future of London’s adult social care services, according to a new report.

Key Asks for the Recovery of the Adult Social Care Sector in London, published by the cross-party group London Councils ahead of the Budget on 3 March, highlights the unprecedented pressures placed on services by Covid-19 and boroughs’ role in co-ordinating support.

The report points to boroughs’ pan-London collaboration successfully procuring PPE during the early stages of the pandemic and their Proud to Care London campaign helping to increase applications to work in the sector.

London Councils also emphasises the continuing need for a sustainable funding solution in the face of rising demand for care, with the report calling for:

  • Additional investment to close London’s funding gap

London Councils’ analysis shows that boroughs are spending over £400m more on adult social care services this year due to Covid-19. Adult social care represents the most significant cost pressure for boroughs – almost one third of their total additional spending.

  • NHS funding increases to be replicated in social care

Had adult social care spending risen in line with health funding increases since 2010, London boroughs’ expenditure on adult social care would be £800m higher this year (£3.4bn instead of the budgeted £2.6bn expenditure for 2020/21). A consistent approach to funding will strengthen the overall health and care system and benefit NHS performance as well as social care services.

  • Progress on reforming adult social care funding

Boroughs urgently need to see faster progress made on agreeing a new national approach to funding social care. Even before Covid-19, boroughs faced an adult social care funding gap of approximately £130 million in 2020/21, which was expected to reach £600 million by 2025. London Councils wants to work with the government to secure a sustainable long-term solution no longer only reliant on council tax base.

Cllr Damian White, London Councils’ Executive Member for Health & Care, said:

“The past year has been difficult for London’s adult social care sector. These services are playing a pivotal role in London’s response to the pandemic, but unfortunately do face an uncertain future.

“Boroughs are hugely committed to working with government and the NHS to strengthen the resilience of London’s health and care system. The sector would benefit from a sustainable funding solution and a guarantee that social care receives the same funding increases as the NHS.

“Boosting investment in social care will pay real dividends through sustaining the post-pandemic recovery of local services, relieving pressure on the NHS, and ensuring Londoners receive the support they need in future years.”

Adult social care teams support 150,000 Londoners across a mixture of care settings. Demand for adult social care is increasing rapidly in the capital, with London’s population growing particularly among groups likely to require social care.

Even though Londoners are on average younger than the rest of the country, the number 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% [1].

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% [2].




Notes to editors:

  1. The Office for National Statistics’ subnational population projections for England.
  2. These figures are sourced from PANSI (Projecting Adult Needs and Service Information)
  3. London Councils represents London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London. It is a cross-party organisation that works on behalf of all its member authorities regardless of political persuasion. More about London Councils here: 
  4. To request an interview or further information, please contact Jack Graves in the London Councils media team: or 020 7934 9970.
  5. You can download the full report here [pdf]


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