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Equity in social care for people with intellectual disabilities? A cross-sectional study examining the distribution of social care funding across local authorities in England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Early online date4 Sep 2016
Accepted/In press20 Jul 2016
E-pub ahead of print4 Sep 2016

King's Authors


Many people with intellectual disabilities rely on social care provision, though little research has looked at how access to such provision is distributed nationally. Evidence from children's services suggests that there are large discrepancies between local authorities (LAs) in terms of the resources expended on interventions with children and families, which can be explained by variations linked to geographical location, namely the level of socioeconomic deprivation between LAs, constituting 'child welfare inequalities'. This study explored relationships between resources allocated to community services for people with intellectual disabilities in England and geographical factors, including deprivation, rurality and political leadership in the LAs where these individuals reside. Data were sourced from publicly available reports of spending of 151 English councils with adult social services responsibilities (CASSRs) for 2013-2014 and from CASSR index of multiple deprivation (IMD) scores and rurality for the same period. We found that more deprived LAs supported more people with intellectual disabilities, per 100,000 of population. We did not find effects for rurality or political party. However, it was not the case that more deprived LAs allocated more funds for expenditure on this group. These findings point to inequities in the distribution of social care resources for people with intellectual disabilities in England, as although more deprived LAs support more people with intellectual disabilities, they do not spend proportionally larger sums of money on this group. We discuss possible explanations for these findings and highlight the need for more research, particularly investigations about allocation of resources within LAs and more detailed explorations of how structural factors such as socioeconomic status of service users effects service access at the local level.

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