Council spending on adult social care fell by 2 per cent last year, according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The data, taken from all 152 top-tier local authorities, shows total adult social care spending in 2012-13 was £17.1bn, down from £17.2bn in 2011-12.  

The figures emerged after councils claimed to have improved the efficiency of services. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said earlier this year that “in the three years since the beginning of the current austerity programme, some £2.68bn savings will have been made by adult social care - 20 per cent of net spending.”

Yesterday’s information centre figures also show that 51 per cent of all council adult care spending was on people aged 65 and over – a slight drop from 52 per cent the previous year.

Thirty per cent of the money was spent on people aged 18-64 with learning disabilities, and 9 per cent was spent on people in the same age group with physical disabilities.

Seven per cent was spent on people with mental health needs, with the remaining 3 per cent spent on service strategy, asylum seekers and ‘other services’.