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Adult social care spending 'has fallen by 3% in real terms'

The amount spent on adult social care in England has fallen in real terms, according to a report.

The study from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) found a fall in spending by councils, from £17.2 billion in 2013/14 to £17.1 billion in 2014/15.

This represents a 3% drop in real terms, the study said.

Among 144 councils, the amount spent on residential and nursing care for adults aged 65 and over was £4.9 billion, a 2% drop in real terms compared with the year before.

For adults aged 18 to 64, the figure was £2.8 billion, a drop of 6% in real terms.

Direct payments in 2014/15 for adults aged 65 and over to manage their own care increased by 11% in real terms to £470 million from £420 million.

For those aged 18 to 64, there was a 3% rise to £1 billion.

Over the five-year period from 2009/10, total spending on adult social care has fallen 8% in real terms, the study added.

The data, which is provisional, also showed that long-term residential and nursing care costs £668 per week on average.

Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, said: "Today's data sadly confirms what we already know - that there is a chronic underfunding of social care.

"People with a learning disability, along with older and other disabled people, are feeling the effects of this dramatic year-on-year rationing of support, and this is excluding hundreds of thousands of people from the support they desperately need."

She said welfare cuts could lead to many more people with a learning disability not getting the right care and support they need.

The HSCIC said the data was provisional as some councils have not returned their figures.

A full report will be available in November.

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