Home care cited as driving force behind £40 billion adult social care market

A health visitor helping a sick senior woman sitting on bed at home.

Adult social care’s contribution to the economy in England has increased to an estimated £40.5 billion, new data has revealed.

Much of this growth came from home care, with non-residential establishments making up 51% of social care locations in 2018, Skills for Care’s annual ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report shows.

The total wage bill of the sector accounted for around half of the social care sector’s contribution to the economy at £21.0 billion in 2018/19, up 4% from 2017/18.

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Skills for Care estimates that 36% of the wage bill – around £7.49 billion – came from home care, defined as domiciliary care services in the local authority and independent sectors, as well as jobs working for direct payment recipients.

As previously reported, the number of home care locations has grown 56% to 9,450 since 2009, compared to a 2% fall in residential homes, and there has been a 22% increase (290,000) in adult social care jobs, 210,000 of which came from home care.

The sector’s workforce now stands at 1.49 million, with home care making up 42% (685,000) of these jobs.

Skills for Care Interim CEO Andy Tilden said: “This report using solid data supplied by employers shows that adult social care must now be factored into workforce and economic planning at a national, regional and local level.

“We know the outstanding work our workforce does in our communities day in, day out, but their £40.5 billion contribution means our growing sector is now a key driving force in the national economy.”

Tilden repeated the revelation he made in August that if the adult social care sector continues to grow at this rate, it may need to fill another 580,000 job roles by 2035.

“That means our sector is only going to get bigger as demand for high quality care services continues to increase,” he said.

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Sarah Clarke

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