New Skills for Care report on the value of social care

October 8, 2021

Adult social care contributes at least £50.3bn to the economy in England and provides significant societal benefits, according to a new report by Skills for Care.

Skills for Care commissioned economic consultants KDNA to demonstrate the full economic value of the adult social care sector in England.

This report estimates that adult social care in England had a minimum total economic value in 2020/21 of £50.3bn, made up of £25.6bn of Gross Value Added (GVA) and a further £12.6 billion of indirect and £12.1bn induced effects.

The report analyses the wider societal value and monetises some of these benefits, including improved wellbeing of carers and employment opportunities for carers, which is calculated up to £1.3bn and around £5.6bn for working age adults.

The report also argues that the best way to make adult social care sustainable in the long-term is to move away from payment for adult social care processes to payment based on better outcomes for people who draw on care and support services.

Recommendation from the report say the sector needs to:

  • Create a better-defined career structure linked to training which is consistently invested in address pay differentiations between senior and entry-level care worker roles, linking to career structures.
  • Recognise and reward the central role registered managers play in high-quality service delivery.
  • Look at higher overall levels of pay to increase the competitiveness of the market enabling employers to attract and employ workers with the right values.

Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth said, ‘This report supports our vision of a fair and just society, where people can access the advice, care and support they need delivered by skilled and motivated workers to live their lives to the fullest. Over the last year the 1.5m people who work in social care have gone above and beyond the call of duty to continue to support our families and people in all of our communities to live their lives, to do the things that they want and keep the relationships that are important to them. This report shows very clearly that they also make a significant and growing contribution to the national economy.

Oonagh Smith added, 'This report offers decision makers real insight into just how important that contribution will be to the nation’s economic recovery and offers ideas about what we can do to ensure we properly recognise the efforts of our workforce who have made such huge sacrifices during the pandemic.’

Stephen Chandler, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said, ‘Far from being a burden on the economy, social care is a powerful engine of growth fuelling local economies and providing employment opportunities in every corner of the country. It can play a key role in the government’s levelling-up project.

‘We are urging the chancellor to make a major investment in social care in his forthcoming budget and in the spending review that will follow. This research shows how that would reap dividends while extending care and support to millions of disabled and older people who need it to live their lives more fully.’

Visit the Skills for Care website to download the report.

In other news, new analysis,  from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) reveals that English councils will need billions more from the Government and big council tax rises to maintain services and to pay for social care.

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