The costs of addressing age discrimination in social care

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



PSSRU Discussion Paper


Publication date

April 1, 2008


Historically PSS expenditure per head on older people using social care services has been lower than for other adult client groups. Along with a number of investigations (e.g. Age Concern England 2008), this difference is taken as a possible indicator of age discrimination in the deployment of services. The UK government is proceeding with the introduction of a Single Equality Bill during this Parliament. One of the proposals is to outlaw age discrimination in the provision of public services. This report seeks to gauge the extent of age discrimination in council-funded social care services for adults (people 18 or over). It draws on a quantitative analysis of the level of support provided to service users. Lower expenditure per head on services may indicate age discrimination, but there are also a range of ‘legitimate’ reasons for this pattern of spending. The analysis aims to determine whether people in different age groups are treated differently after these ‘legitimate’ differences are removed.





discussion paper



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