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New requests for adult social care support actioned by councils approaches two million

6 October 2015: Three reports providing official adult social care statistics released today

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Information is available at local authority and regional level

Just under two million (1,846,000) requests for adult social care support for new clients were actioned by councils during 2014-152. This equates to an average of 5,000 new requests actioned per day3.

This figure comes from Community Care Statistics: Social Services Activity, England 2014-15, released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) today. This report is based on a newnational data collection4 from councils, which covers short and long term social care and provides new information on the primary reason people need support.

Of the 1,846,000 actioned requests for new clients:

  • 72 per cent (1,327,000) related to adults aged 65 and over and 28 per cent (519,000) related to clients age 18-64.
  • 31 per cent (575,000) resulted in the client being given a "universal service" or "signposted to other support" 5
  • 28 per cent (520,000) had an outcome of "no services provided" 6
  • 16 per cent (304,000) saw ongoing low level support provided7
  • 12 per cent (218,000) had short term support provided to maximise independence8
  • 8 per cent (144,000) had an outcome of long term support9

Looking at both new and existing clients who received support during the year:

Long term support

  • A total of 890,000 adults received long term support from local authorities at some point in 2014-15.
  • Of these, 74 per cent (659,000) were receiving this support at the year-end on 31 March 2015 and of those, nearly half a million (485,000 or 74 per cent) had received this support for more than a year.
  • For long term social care users over the age of 65, the most common primary reason for support was personal care (64 per cent or 384,000 in this group ). For those aged 18 to 64 it was learning disability support (43 per cent or 124,000 in this group).

Short term support to maximise independence

  • There were 254,000 completed instances10 of adults receiving this form of support during the year.
  • In addition, 29,000 clients were receiving this form of support on 31 March 2015.
  • For those receiving a completed instance of this form of support, the most common primary reason for support was personal care (70 per cent or 178,000).
  • After receiving this form of support, 26 per cent (65,000) went on to receive long term support, of which 93 per cent (60,000) received long term support in the community.

Responsible statistician Chris Buttery said: "This report provides a new and rich picture of short term and long term social services provided for adults. This is now part of a range of information we produce11 to enable the sharing of best practice, to understand the views of users and carers and to enable benchmarking between councils.

"These data give us more information about the national social care landscape than was available previously. Councils have worked hard to provide the new data, which will be of use for decision making both locally and nationally."

Community Care Statistics: Social Services Activity, England 2014-15 can be found at:

Also published by the HSCIC today is:

The Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS) 2014-1512. This survey of adults receiving long term support services funded or managed by councils examines issues such as quality of life, social contact and how satisfied users are with services. It can be found at:

Measures from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF), England 2014-1513 provides measures to enable local councils' adult social services to be benchmarked. It includes measures on the quality of life of social care users and their carers and a range of other indicators such as delayed discharge. It can be found at:


Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 260 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.
  2. Where this press release refers to requests that have been actioned, these are where a council has received a new request for social care support for a new client and where it has made a decision during the year as to what the outcome (referred to in the report as a 'sequel') will be - ie whether and what support will be provided. A new client is one that is not in receipt of any long term support at the time the contact was made.
  3. This figure is calculated by dividing the total number of requests for support by 365 (number of days in a typical year). This is a crude average to put the total number of requests for support into context.
  4. Data are taken from the Short and Long Term Services (SALT) collection; this has replaced the Referrals, Assessments and Packages of Care (RAP) return and the Adult Social Care Combined Activity Return (ASC-CAR). No data comparisons are available in this report.
  5. A universal service is any service or support (other than those above) for which there is no test of eligibility and no requirement for review. Signposting indicates that the client will not be supported by the local authority and there is no universal service which will help them. Details are therefore given of other organisations (e.g. in the voluntary sector) that might be able to provide assistance.
  6. No Services Provided (any reason) includes where the client may have low-level needs which cannot be supported by the local authority and there is no universal service which will help them. This will also apply if the client dies or for some reason the process of assessing needs is terminated.
  7. Low level support is where a Local Authority decides to provide an ongoing service such as the provision of a minicom line / telecare, but no other service needs have been identified. Such services are based in the community.
  8. Short term support is provided to maximise independence, for instance support put in place to help rehabilitation after a spell in hospital.
  9. Long term support encompasses services provided with the intention of maintaining quality of life for an individual on an ongoing basis, and which has been allocated on the basis of eligibility criteria / policies (i.e. an assessment of need has taken place) and are subject to regular review.
  10. This means that short term support was put in place and also ended during the year and further that a decision was also then taken during the year on whether and what further support was required.
  11. The HSCIC provides a range of statistical publications to provide information on social care activity, expenditure, social care workforce and user experience.
  12. A number of changes have been made to the methodology for the Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS) for 2014-15. This means that it is not possible to make direct comparisons to results from the previous survey which took place in 2013-14.
  13. Not all ASCOF measures published today can be compared to previous years.
  14. For media enquiries please contact or call 0300 303 3888
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