Financial pressures on local authority budgets and an alarming shortage of suitable social housing stock are increasingly jeopardising the provision of support for adults with learning disabilities, according to the latest research from Laing & Buisson.

Commissioned by Anne Williams, National Director for Learning Disabilities at the Department of Health, in her role leading the (then) Valuing People Now team, the first report, Illustrative Cost Models in Learning Disabilities Social Care Provision, recognises the need to better understand the relative unit costs of different types of services and their accommodation/support components.

With a view to informing debate about which approaches are most likely to be cost-effective, the report includes comprehensive illustrations and costings and comments on economies of scale. Whilst commissioned by the Department of Health, the report does not necessarily represent the Department’s views.

The second report, Cost and Cost-Effectiveness Issues in Learning Disabilities Social Care Provision, steps away from the DH remit to include provider opinion and Laing & Buisson’s own analysis.

It offers complementary views and suggestions on improving spending habits as well as tackling the broader cost issues facing the sector. As a springboard for further discussion, the report focuses on ways which to achieve further cost savings; how to address the current housing challenge in terms of financing and funding; improving outcomes and further development of costing and entitlement models.