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The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England 2016

As Chair of Skills for Care, I’m very pleased to launch one of our key reports: The state of the adult social care sector and workforce report in England (2016). The report builds on our annual key sector report, The size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England 2016 - the two combined provide evidence on the issues affecting adult social care and in particular issues affecting the most important element in care provision, the workforce.

The report feels timelier than ever given a number of issues currently affecting the sector. The data and trends in the report provide robust information that shed light on key workforce issues including: recruitment and retention; take up of the Care Certificate; the prevalence of zero-hours contracts and the nationality of the workforce (a very hot topic since the vote to leave the European Union). Wherever possible the report provides trend data to give us a true picture on how these issues are evolving over time.

The report provides vital information on a workforce of 1.55 million jobs in a sector where workforce is the key to the quality of care provided. At a national level it enables the sector’s key stakeholders, particularly the Department of Health to make decisions using the best information possible. In addition, data from the National Minimum Dataset for Social Care (NMDS-SC) has been used to project the number of workers that may be needed in the sector over the next 20 years. Data from this report and from the NMDS-SC is used beyond Skills for Care and the Department of Health. Other key users include the Care Quality Commission (CQC), NHS Digital (previously the Health and Social Care Information Centre), Health Education England and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS). In addition to these strategic bodies’ data is used by local authorities, employers, think tanks, universities and others to plan, fund and better understand adult social care.

Reliable information is the key to all those who make decisions regarding the sector and Skills for Care would like to thank the 23,000 plus employers who have input their data into the NMDS-SC along with around 730,000 individual worker records. It is this data that makes the intelligence produced robust and fit for purpose.