Social care spend in England around third less per person than Scotland and Wales

England has fallen behind other UK countries on adult social care spending, new analysis suggests.

The country spent around a third less per person than Scotland and Wales in 2010/11, and this gap has now widened further, the Health Foundation said.

The independent charity has predicted a £4.4 billion funding gap for social care in England in 2023/24, amid rising demand and staff shortages.

Anita Charlesworth (pictured), director of economics and research at the Health Foundation, described social care as “one of the victims of the current political impasse”, as she called for urgent funding and reform.

Government spending on adult social care in England was £345 per person in 2010/11, according to the Health Foundation analysis.

This was 32% less than Scotland, which spent £457 per person, and 29% less than Wales, which spent £445.

Adult social care budgets have since fallen in all three countries, but Scotland and Wales have provided greater funding protection, the Health Foundation said.

In 2016/17, England spent £310 per person, 43% less than Scotland, which spent £445. In Wales, it fell to £414 per person.

“Tackling the challenge of social care reform will require decisive political action and an appropriate funding settlement,” Ms Charlesworth said.

“Successive governments have ducked the challenge and the tragedy is that vulnerable people and their families are suffering as a result.

“If reform remains unaddressed, social care’s inadequacies will continue to undermine the NHS and people in need of care will continue to fall through the cracks.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “We have given local authorities access to up to £3.9 billion more dedicated funding for adult social care this year, and a further £410 million is available for adults and children’s services.

“This year we launched a national recruitment campaign to encourage people to apply for adult social care vacancies.

“We will set out our plans to reform the social care system at the earliest opportunity to ensure it is sustainable for the future.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) The Health Foundation.