Revenue allocations are made to primary care trusts (PCTs) on the basis of the relative needs of their populations. Allocations are made on a fair funding formula that directs funding to those in greatest need.
A principal cause in the variation in the level of demand for health services is the age structure of the population. The very young and the elderly, whose populations are not evenly distributed throughout the country, tend to make more use of health services than the rest of the population. The funding formula is age weighted to take account of the varying elements of the health need associated with the age structure of local populations.
Once allocations have been made, it is for PCTs to commission services based on their local populations.
Council funding for adult social services is derived from a number of sources: a share of overall formula grant allocated by the Department for Communication and Local Government, specific grants distributed by the Department, revenue from council tax, income from fees and charges and local decision making.
The greater part of Government funding for adult social care is allocated to councils without conditions. Local authorities have a significant degree of flexibility to manage and direct their resources in accordance with local priorities, and the needs of the communities to which they are accountable. It is not therefore possible to identify the proportion of allocated funding that is directly attributable to services for the elderly in the South West region.