Adult Social Care Markets Contents


Adult social care includes social work, personal care and practical support for adults with a physical disability, a learning disability, or physical or mental illness, as well as support for their carers. Family or friends provide most care unpaid. The Department of Health and Social Care (the Department) is responsible for setting national policy and the legal framework. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (the Ministry) oversees the distribution of funding to local government and the financial framework within which local authorities operate. In 2019–20, local authorities commissioned care for 839,000 adults; spending a net £16.5 billion on care, 4% less in real terms than in 2010–11. They commission most care from independent providers. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates providers for quality and also oversees the financial resilience of large providers. Many people arrange and pay for their care privately. If current (pre-COVID-19) patterns of care and current funding systems continue, the Department projects there will be a 29% increase in the number of adults aged 18 to 64 and a 57% increase in the number of adults aged 65 and over requiring care by 2038 compared with 2018.

Published: 16 June 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement