Click through for the Social care 360 sections
This year’s Social Care 360 has a colour coding system for each of the indicators we describe. This should be interpreted as follows:
- Red: a trend that's getting worse.
- Green: a trend that's improving.
- Amber: either a trend that’s small or not clear over the period we’re describing, or where the direction of travel itself is not obviously good or bad. For example, an increase in requests for support could be both an indicator of unmet need being identified (good) and an indicator of increasing need among the population (bad).
What needs to happen?
In many cases, we expect Covid-19 to make the situation worse. Demand will increase but receipt of care will, likely, not. Costs will go up but expenditure is unlikely to keep pace. If we are to avoid reporting on a further bleak round of indicators in future years, six things need to happen as part of a long-term wide-ranging reform programme for adult social care.
- More money is needed to fund the current system. The Health Foundation estimates that an extra £1.9 billion will be needed simply to meet demand for adult social care by 2023/24, while funding is also needed to meet existing unmet need and improve the quality of services. Further funding will be necessary to cover the additional costs of Covid-19, support the provider market, fill vacancies and pay staff a fairer wage.
- Eligibility needs to be improved, in the short term by easing the financial pressure on local authorities and allowing them to apply existing rules more fairly and in the longer term by changing those rules to make more people entitled to support.
- Workforce reform is essential. While vacancies may fall in the short term due to unemployment in the wider economy, the sector needs better pay, training and development to compete with other sectors and deliver the care needed.
- Personalisation needs re-invigoration. If the 2014 Care Act’s principle around self-directed support has meaning, government needs to establish clear oversight so that the number and quality of direct payments, and other routes to choice and control, increase rather than decline.
- Prevention needs to take centre stage. Services such as reablement should be an even greater focus for local authorities and national government.
- Carer support needs urgent attention. As formal services closed during Covid-19, carers took on much of the heavy lifting (sometimes literally) of support. A new settlement for them ought to be part of reform.
- Our methodology outlined
Definition Methodology Source Requests for support Number of requests for support received from new clients, by age group As reported Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, NHS Digital Service users
New clients with an episode of short-term support to maximise care (ST-Max) care and a known sequel, by age group
Long-term support during the year, by age group
As reported Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, NHS Digital Financial eligibility Upper capital limit Adjusted to 2019/20 prices using December 2020 GDP deflators from HM Treasury Expenditure
Gross current expenditure
Adjusted to 2019/20 prices using December 2020 GDP deflators from HM Treasury and calculated difference from 2010/11 budget, calculated per person rate
Adjusted to 2019/20 prices using December 2020 GDP deflators from HM Treasury, calculated per person rate
Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, NHS Digital
Mid-year population estimate
Aggregated data for all people aged over 18 ONS Custom Age Tool Costs
Unit costs for clients accessing long term support – residential and nursing, by age group
Unit costs, average weighted standard hourly rate for the provision of home care – external
Adjusted to 2019/20 prices using December 2020 GDP deflators from HM Treasury Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, NHS Digital Care home beds
Care home beds per 100 people 75+
Nursing home beds per 100 people 75+
As reported Palliative and End of Life Care Profiles, Public Health England
Nursing home beds, by region
Residential home beds, by region
Calculated percentage change between 2013 and 2020 Data provided directly by CQC Vacancies
Vacancy rate (adult social care)
Unemployment rate (whole economy)
As reported The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, Skills for Care Pay Median hourly pay for care workers and other low paid professions, 2012/13 and 2019/20 Calculated difference between median hourly care worker pay and median hourly pay for other professions The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, Skills for Care Carer support Support provided to carers during the year, by type of support provided Calculated as percentage of all carer support provided Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, NHS Digital Quality Percentage of care services by rating As reported Data provided directly by CQC Personalisation Number of service users receiving direct payments and part-direct payments at the year-end 31 March Calculated year-on-year change Measures from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework, NHS Digital Satisfaction Question 1 combined – Overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the care and support services you receive? As reported Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey, NHS Digital
With thanks to
Thank you to the following people and their organisations for reviewing a draft of this report, though the final text, the analysis behind it and any errors or omissions remain the responsibility of the authors.
- Will Fenton, Skills for Care
- Matt Hibberd, Local Government Association
- Sarah Liley, NHS Digital
- Ann Mackay, Care England
- Vic Rayner, National Care Forum
- Duncan Stacey, Care Quality Commission
- Robyn Wilson, NHS Digital