Adult social care productivity

February 5, 2020

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released a report on adult social care productivity for the financial year ending (FYE) 2019. The reports identifies trends in the input, output and productivity of publicly-funded adult social care in England.

Productivity in publicly-funded adult social care services fell by 1.4%, as more inputs (for example labour and capital) were used, but output decreased slightly.

Inputs increased by 1.3% in this period, which was an increase on the 0.3% growth seen during the previous year.

Output fell by 0.1% in however, as, while the quantity of services provided increased, output quality fell by more; this follows a previous fall in output of 0.3% in the previous year.

While the 0.9% growth in the quantity of output provided was the fastest since FYE 2016, the output quality reduction of 1% this year marked the second consecutive year of falling quality.

Overall, productivity was 9.2% lower in this financial year compared to FYE 1997, meaning 9.2% less output was provided for each unit of input.

Residential and nursing care, which accounts for nearly a third of adult social care expenditure, experienced a 2.2% fall in productivity, reflecting falls in both the quantity and quality of output provided.

ONS reports that understanding the reasons for rise or fall in productivity requires analysis of the growth in output and inputs.

The fall in output over this period was the result of a fall in the quality adjustment to output, rather than a fall in the quantity of output produced, which increased by 0.9%. This means that, while quality-adjusted productivity fell by 1.4%, non-quality-adjusted productivity fell by 0.4%.

The full report on adult social care productivity is available to read on the ONS website.


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