29 per cent fall in social care workforce

According to the latest figures from NHS Digital, there has been a 29 per cent decline in the number of local authority adult social care jobs in England.

However, the data also indicated that there has been an increase in the staffing levels of independently run adult social care agencies, increasing by 160,000 jobs.

The NHS Digital report included common reasons councils cited for the decrease social care workforce as service closures, restructuring and budget cuts.

The news comes as statistics show eight per cent of the total social care workforce
is made up by staff directly employed by councils; six per cent by the NHS; nine per cent via direct payments; and 78 per cent by the independent sector.

Margaret Willcox, president elect of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, commented: “Despite these huge pressures, councils have sought to protect frontline social workers while seeking efficiency in management and outsourcing direct care provision.

Ms Willcox added: “Care staff and social workers are pulling out all the stops to provide personal and dignified care to those who need it, with the report showing that nearly half (44 per cent) of adult social care workers had no days off sick in a year.

“This significant fall in staff numbers is unsurprising and is due to the social care funding crisis which is failing to tackle the growing demand within local communities for care of people living longer and with increasingly complex needs.”

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