Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, said:

“This is a very important analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on our fragile and underfunded system of social care.

"We agree wholeheartedly with the call for a two year funding settlement and the employment deal for care workers.

"One positive outcome of this terrible disease is that social care workers have been recognised for their vital work. We now need to turn that recognition into increased pay.”

Key findings in the ADASS Budget Survey include:

  • Greatest pressures in social care system is social care support for working aged disabled adults – with 64% of the demographic pressures on adult social care budgets (including 38% relating to services for people with a learning disability), compared to 58% in 2019/20
  • £200m extra a year needed to meet current needs of people with a learning disability receiving social care support today – more than for any other group including older people
  • “The increasing pressures relating to working age adults are not currently being matched in national conversations around funding and testing, where older people have been the priority, e.g. Infection control funding.”


 For further information, contact Mencap’s media team on media@mencap.org.uk or 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).   

For advice and information on learning disability, including advice on coronavirus and healthcare, please contactMencap’s freephoneLearning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (8am-6pm, Monday-Friday) or email helpline@mencap.org.uk.

Or visit Mencap’s website: www.mencap.org.uk.

About Mencap     

There is approximately 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities.

Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want and also campaigns to change laws, improve services and challenge negative attitudes towards people with a learning disability. 

What is a learning disability?    

  • A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life;    
  • Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’;     
  • People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.