Monday, 10 August 2015

Client contribution? that'll do nicely

This is just a quick blog containing some data I came across today while rummaging amongst the information stored by the Health and Social Information Centre's excellent NASCIS system (http://www.hscic.gov.uk/nascis ).

I hadn't noticed before that the information relating to expenditure by social services (PSS-EX1 - notice the strategic use of the hyphen to avoid embarrassment when searching for it on Google) also includes information on income from 'client contributions' (see here for more guidance on what this means http://www.hscic.gov.uk/media/13520/PSS-EX1-Guidance-2013-14/pdf/PSS-EX1_Guidance_2013-14_v1.0.pdf ).

The graph and table below summarise the information on client contributions concerning social services for adults with learning disabilities aged 18-64 years, in England, from 2005/06 to 2013/14.

Overall, in 2013/14, client contributions for social services for working age adults with learning disabilities totalled £262.8 million. Most of this came in contributions for residential care placements (£141.4 million in 2013/14), followed by 'fairly charged' community services such as day services and home care (£62.7 million), supported/other accommodation (£31.3 million), direct payments (£13.2 million) and nursing care (£8.7 million).

Overall, the black line on the graph takes the total amount of client contributions in 2005/06 and shows what this total would be over time taking into account inflation in the costs of social services (thanks again to the Personal Social Services Research Unit and Lesley Curtis in particular for their invaluable work compiling these sorts of statistics http://www.pssru.ac.uk/project-pages/unit-costs/2014/ ). As you will see, client contributions have broadly increased in line with inflation, although the 2013/14 figures might suggest client contributions beginning to rise faster than inflation.




I don't know enough about what this information means to want to make any strong comments about it at this point and I'd like to hear people's thoughts on it. £262.8 million is certainly a big chunk of money - what do people make of this amount, what client contributions are being spent on, and how this is changing over time?

Update: I've just been looking through some provisional results from the Adult Social Care Survey for 2013/14 (see here http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB14386 ), which included responses 'from' 13,360 adults with learning disabilities (many people are 'helped' by support workers to complete the survey, so the results have to be taken with a Lot's wife of salt). According to this survey, 22% of adults with learning disabilities said that they buy some more care and support with their own money, and 10% of people said that their family pays for some more care and support for them.



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