- 15 January 2021
- 3 min read
State Of Care Reports – What Do They Tell Us?Subscribe To Advice
Social care has seen a lot of coverage in the news this year due to COVID. But what do the actual facts and figures tell us about the state of adult social care in England?
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Skills for Care, an independent charity with over 18 years’ experience in workforce development and which works as a partner to the Department of Health and Social Care, have both produced reports on the state of adult social care in England in 2020.
We’ve read these reports and pulled out some interesting facts and figures, which are presented below.
What do you expect these reports to tell us about adult social care in England in 2020? And what changes and/or improvements would you like to see recommended going forward?
The reports ran up to 31st March 2020, prior to the disruption caused by coronavirus.
Some of the figures are as follows:
There were 1.52 million people working in adult social care in 2019/20. Of these, 82% were female.
Should the government be doing more to encourage a great number of men into social care do you think?
Out of those 1.52 million people, 27% were aged 55 or above.
430,000 (30.4%) people left their jobs in adult social care in the last 12 months, although 67% of those remained in the sector.
Do you think that the social care sector is able to manage and absorb the combined pressures of an aging workforce and high staff turnover rates?
Or will the government need to provide more investment in training and staff retention measures to combat perpetual staff shortages and a decline in productivity? The good news is the adult social care work force has increased by 9% since 2012, although in recent years this uptake has slowed.
The vacancy rate decreased 0.3% between 2018/19 and 2019/20; although there are approximately 112,000 vacancies at any given time.
Does this augur well for the future? Or will the coronavirus pandemic have put a dent into any nascent improvement?
Only 50% of social care workers were employed full-time, with 24% being on zero-hour contracts.
Domiciliary care services had the highest proportion of care workers on zero-hour contracts at 56%.
Do you think staff retention would be higher if there were fewer workers on zero-hour contracts?
There are projected to be 2.17 million adult social care jobs projected by 2035, an increase of 32% (from 1.65 million in 2019/20).
Do you think that the 12% median pay increase for care workers since 2012 will be enough? Or will social care need to be put on a more defined pay scale, like the NHS?
At present, the adult social care sector contributes an estimated £41.2 billion to the economy in England.
If the number of jobs is expected to increase 32%, is it reasonable to expect the value of the sector to the economy to increase in a commensurate fashion?
And will this lead to an improvement in pay and conditions for social care workers? The social care sector was deemed ‘fragile’ by the Care Quality Commission, due to lack of a long-term funding solution.
This ongoing lack of a sustainable financial solution for adult social care was deemed to be having a damaging impact on both the quality and quantity of available care.
What would need to be done to put adult social care on a sustainable footing financially? And how much should the government be responsible for this?
The standards of social care services have also been analysed in these reports.
According to the CQC Report, as of 31st March 2020, 80% of Adult Social Care services were rated as good and 5% were outstanding. For comparison, in July 2019, these figures were 80% and 4% respectively, a minimal improvement but an improvement, nonetheless.
212 community social care services (3%), encompassing provision for more than 9,000 people have never been rated better than ‘requires improvement’, and a further 393 (5%), providing services to more than 18,000 people have had one ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rating, before falling back to ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by 31 March 2020.
What does the fall in ratings for some services show about the state of adult social care in England?
Does a fall in rating directly equate to a decline in the standard or availability of care provision?
Disappointingly, it was noted the some of the poorest quality services struggled to make any improvement.
Can this be attributed to the ongoing shortage of qualified staff? Or is the lack of a funding model still meaning uncertainty and a lack of progress in some social care settings?
It should be noted that these reports deal solely with England. Comparable reports for the other nations of the United Kingdom; Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland don’t appear to be readily available.
Can we assume that a similar picture can be said to exist in the devolved nations? Are there particular challenges that devolved nations face that England does not?
Please let us know in the comments about this, and what you thought of the article.
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