The Public Accounts Committee will examine the Adult Social Care Workforce on Wednesday 28 February 2018.
Scope of the inquiry
Adult social care is care and support for working-age adults with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, or illnesses, as well as care for older adults who cannot manage tasks associated with day-to-day living. Adults social care also includes support for their carers. In 2016–17 local authorities spent £14.8 billion on adult social care.
The Department of Health and Social Care is responsible for adult social care policy and works with its delivery partner Skills for Care to develop the care workforce. In 2017–18 the Department provided £23.5 million in funding to Skills for Care.
There are currently 1.34 million jobs in adult care, shared between local authorities and the private sector. During 2016–17, the vacancy rate across the sector was 6.6%, with annual turnover in the workforce at 27.8%. Meanwhile, ‘informal care’ from family and friends is said to be worth about £100 billion to the UK economy.
According to a recent National Audit Office (NAO) report, the Department for Health and Social Care does not have an up-to-date workforce strategy to address the needs of the sector, whilst local and regional bodies—some of which are overseen by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government—are not taking the lead whilst such a strategy is drawn up.
The NAO also found that the Government’s ongoing work to integrate healthcare and social care is not expected to result in a reduction in the number of care jobs required.
The Committee will take evidence from the Department of Health and Social Care, Skills for Care, and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.