Today, ADASS released its 2021 Spring Survey report. It revealed that almost 75,000 disabled and older people and carers are waiting for help with their care and support as social services struggle to cope with an avalanche of needs arising from the Covid pandemic.

Read the full report online here:

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

“People with a learning disability and their family carers have told us throughout the pandemic that they are struggling to cope without support. This important report confirms that, while support needs have increased, access to vital care is harder than ever to come by. Local authorities’ budgets cannot stretch to meet demand and it’s leaving people and their families paying the price.  

“It is shameful that people with a learning disability have faced the biggest increase in their care charges than any other group and that hundreds of thousands of people have been left at risk while they wait to have their support needs assessed or reviewed. 

“Four in 10 adult social care directors are most concerned about their ability to provide support to working-aged disabled adults who need it; yet they are currently completely overlooked by the Government’s reform agenda. It’s more urgent now than ever that the Prime Minister fixes the social care crisis and provides significant funding, but he must not forget working-aged disabled adults. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform social care for all and create a social care system that is fit for the 21st century.”


For further information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or case study, please contact Mencap’s media team on: or 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).         

Notes to editors:   

  1. Mencap is calling for:
  • a clear plan for supporting the whole care market, including services for work-aged disabled adults which currently make up around half of the total social care budget
  • additional funding to meet current demand for support and stabilise the sector
  • a road map towards the Government's plans for social care reform, including a long-term funding solution, fairer access to services and support and workforce reform
  • Social care reform and long-term funding must cover a range of services and support that people with a learning disability need beyond personal care to enable them to lead independent and fulfilling lives in their community.
  1. The social care sector needs at least £7 billion investment a year in social care in England by 2023/24, according to the Health and Social Care Committee. While the Association of Directors of Adults Social Services’ latest Budget Survey revealed that there is a growing hole in local authorities budgets for services supporting people with a learning disability – up to £240m in 2021/22 from £200m in 2020/21 and £180m in 2019/20.The coronavirus pandemic has led to local councils in England facing at least a £6.6bn increase in social care costs up to the end of September, according to the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adults Social Services.

    About Mencap     

    There are 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:   

    For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap’s Freephone Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (10am-3pm, Monday-Friday) or email

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.