Domiciliary care services continued to see growth during pandemic, new workforce data reveals

Domiciliary care services continued to grow during the pandemic according to data from Skills for Care’s latest ‘The size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ update published this week.

Using data from employers supplied to the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) between 2019/20 and 2020/21 the vast majority of the increase in adult social care jobs during the pandemic was in CQC regulated non-residential care services, which increased by 40,000 jobs or 7%.

The number of care home jobs remained broadly the same over the same period despite decreases in occupancy rates from 86% pre-covid to 77% in March 2021.

Analysis of the data also showed that the number of jobs in care homes for older people also remained similar in 2020/21, but between March 2021 and June 2021 there is evidence that the number of jobs in this part of the sector had started to decrease.

Other key findings are:

  • The number of people working in adult social care was estimated at 1.54 million in 2020/21.
  • The number of adult social care jobs in England as at 2020/21 was estimated at 1.67 million – this has increased by 2.7% (45,000 jobs) between 2019/20 and 2020/21.
  • The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs was estimated at 1.19 million.
  • An estimated 17,700 organisations were involved in providing or organising adult social care in England as at 2020/21. Those services were delivered in an estimated 39,000 establishments.

The data also reveals that if the adult social care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population then the number of adult social care jobs will increase by 29%, or 480,000 jobs, to around 2.16 million jobs by 2035.

Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth said: “Thanks to the continued support of thousands of social care employers who kept supplying their data through the pandemic we are able to publish our annual analysis.  This gives a real sense of not only how big our sector is, but also the impact of the pandemic on the workforce which has done so much to keep the people they work with safe and well.

“We believe that policies to reform adult social care will not be successful unless they address the needs of the workforce which must be underpinned by high quality data that offers policy makers and employers a clear understanding of our workforce now and in the future.”

The report is being offered as an interactive visualisation rather than a written report, which you can view here.

There are also monthly trackers for key workforce measures, including looking at total staff, so users can monitor changes in the workforce between annual reports. These can be found here.