Open access Projections of Demand and Expenditure on Adult Social Care 2015 to 2040

Raphael Wittenberg, Bo Hu, Ruth Hancock (2018)

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Available online: 18 June 2018

Abstract
This paper presents updated projections prepared for the Department of Health and Social Care of demand for long-term care for older people and younger adults in England to 2040 and beyond and associated future expenditure. The projections were produced using updated versions of the Personal Social Services Research Unit’s (PSSRU) aggregate long-term care projections models and the CARESIM microsimulation model developed by Ruth Hancock at the University of East Anglia. The projections cover publicly funded social care for older people and younger adults and for older people only privately funded social care.

The key findings of the research are: • Public expenditure on social services for older people is projected to rise under the current funding system from around £7.2 billion (0.45% of GDP) in 2015 to £18.7 billion (0.75% of GDP) in 2040 at constant 2015 prices and under a set of base case assumptions about trends in the drivers of long-term care demand and in the unit costs of care services; • Public expenditure on social services for younger adults is projected to rise under the current funding system from around £8.9 billion (0.55% of GDP) in 2015 to £21.2 billion (0.85% of GDP) in 2040 at constant 2015 prices and under a set of base case assumptions about trends in the drivers of long-term care demand and in the unit costs of care services; • These base case projections are sensitive to assumptions about future trends in mortality and disability rates and in the real unit costs of care.

These findings need to be treated with some caution. They are based on a set of assumptions about future socio-economic and demographic trends. They relate to current patterns of care and the current funding system and do not take account of any of the funding reforms which have been proposed in recent years and on which the government plans to publish a Green Paper in summer 2018. They do not allow for the potential impact of rising expectations or other behavioural changes.