this image shows an elderly lady being cared for by a carer

Adult Social Care Workforce

this image shows and elderly person and her carers hand

The Adult Social Care Workforce in England

The Official report into the health of social care was published today and it does not make for good reading.

 Key Points are:


was the estimated number of jobs (excluding personal assistants and NHS jobs) in the adult social care sector in England in 2016-17


was the last time a national workforce strategy was published by the Department of Health & Social Care


was the vacancy rate for jobs across the care sector in 2016-17

16.8billion is the sum of   £14.8 billion of net current expenditure on care by local authorities and £2.0 billion allocated from the NHS through the Better Care Fund in 2016-17

27.8% was the turnover rate across all care jobs in 2016-17 £7.50 was the median pay per hour for a care worker in the independent care sector in 2016-17

11.3% was the vacancy rate for registered managers in 2016-17, the highest vacancy rate in care

16% of registered nurses in 2016-17 who were non-British European Economic Area nationals, the highest percentage for any care job 2 million was the Centre for Workforce Intelligence’s 2014 principal projection of the demand for full-time equivalent jobs in adult social care by 2035

1 Adult social care comprises personal care and practical support for older adults who cannot manage the tasks of everyday life and for working-age adults with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, or physical or mental illnesses. It also includes support for their carers.

Most care is provided unpaid by family or friends (known as ‘informal care’). The amount of informal care provided affects the amount of formal care that is needed, provided and publicly funded through local authorities or through people funding their own care privately.

Policy choices on eligibility for publicly funded care changes the number of people who qualify, and therefore the number who might need to buy their own care, rely on informal care, or have their care needs unmet. 2 In 2016-17, net current expenditure by local authorities on care was £14.8 billion. Additionally, around £2.0 billion of funding allocated to the NHS was transferred to pooled budgets with local authorities, through the Better Care Fund, to support care.

Local authorities commission most care from the independent (private and voluntary) sector. Around 65% of providers’ income comes from care arranged by local authorities, so public funding is essential to the sustainability of the sector. Care arranged by local authorities includes some contributions from users. Estimates by the Office for National Statistics and Carers UK, respectively, of the value of informal care range from £57 billion to over £100 billion per year.

Demographic trends suggest that demand for care will continue to increase and people’s care needs will continue to become more complex. To meet these challenges, the care workforce needs to grow and the nature of care and support needs to transform. 3 In 2016-17, the care workforce in England consisted of around 1.34 million jobs in the local authority and independent sectors.

The full-time equivalent number of jobs was around 1.0 million. This excludes an estimated 145,000 job for personal assistants, employed by recipients of personal budgets and self-funders, and 91,000 people who have care jobs but are employed within the NHS.

In our report, unless otherwise stated personal assistants and NHS staff are excluded from our analysis. 4 The Department of Health & Social Care (the Department), formerly the Department of Health, is responsible for adult social care policy, as it was before its name-change in January 2018. One of the nine priorities in its Shared Delivery Plan: 2015 to 2020, published in February 2016, was to “make sure the health and care system workforce has the right skills and the right number of staff in the most appropriate settings to provide consistently safe and high-quality care”. The Department has an objective to

Here is the link to the full report, it is interesting albeit alarming.


Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.

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