Using data reported nationally, and drawn from council and administrative systems, the briefing identifies a major drop in the number of adults being cared for by local authorities suggesting that those who are old or face disabilities will encounter increasing challenges in the coming 5 years.

Notably SPC observes that where you live really matters: for example Bournemouth Council has successfully collaborated with Dorset and Poole councils to respond to the increasing needs it faces. Meanwhile in other areas the tightening up of criteria, increased use of volunteers and a heavy emphasis on charging have had very different impacts.

The briefing, commissioned by the BBC South, was widely covered on BBC radio Solent, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Dorset and BBC TV in the run up to the General Election.

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