The adult social care workforce in England

National Audit Office
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Investigates the effectiveness of the Department of Health and Social Care in overseeing the adult social care workforce and assesses whether the size and structure of the care workforce is adequate to meet the need for care in the future. The report reviews workforce trends and cost pressures within the care sector; the challenges that providers face in recruiting and retaining workers in three job roles: care workers, registered managers and registered nurses; and levels of workforce planning at national, regional and local levels. The report found that the Department is not doing enough to support a sustainable social care workforce that can meet the growing demand for care. It identifies that workers often feel undervalued, are on low levels of pay and have limited opportunities for career progression. Difficult working conditions and a poor image also prevent workers from joining and remaining in the sector. Although the Department of Health and Social Care estimates that the workforce will need to grow by 2.6 per cent every year until 2035 to meet increasing needs for care, the report found the Department has no national strategy to address this workforce challenge and have failed to improve training and career development to make the sector more attractive. It makes recommendations to the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure the adult social care workforce is suitably planned, supported and resourced. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
adult social care, staff retention, recruitment, planning, care workforce, conditions of employment, policy, managers, financing, local authorities, social care staff;
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Series name:
HC 714
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