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Personal Social Services: Staff of Social Services Departments at 30 September - England, 2015

Publication date: 09:30 February 10, 2016

Summary

This report contains information on staff employed (directly and indirectly) by adult social services departments in England as at September 2015. Further details on the definition of directly and indirectly employed job roles are provided in Annex C. 

The report will be of interest to central government (for policy development, monitoring and workforce planning), local government (for benchmarking), charities, academics and the general public. The report does not include information on staff employed in the independent sector (private and voluntary) or children's social services departments (published separately by the Department for Education

This report has used data collected by the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) for the past five years (from 2011). The NMDS-SC is managed by Skills for Care (SfC) on behalf of the Department of Health and has been collecting information about social care providers and their staff since early 2006.

Before 2011 the data source used for this report was the Health and Social Care Information Centre's 'Personal Social Services Staff of Social Services Departments' return (SSDS001). Following a user-wide consultation it was decided that the NMDS-SC would replace the SSDS001 from September 2011 as the adult social care workforce data return for councils.

The NMDS-SC data in this report are not directly comparable with data from the SSDS001 because the SSDS001 covered both adults' and children's services and this report focuses solely on adults. The adult job classifications are also very different between the two sources. Trends prior to 2011 are therefore not provided.


Key Facts

  • As at September 2015 there were 120,200 council-employed adult social services jobs in England.  This represents an overall decrease of 9,900 jobs compared to the previous year (an eight per cent reduction from 130,100 jobs in 2014). The scale of reduction between 2014 and 2015 varied by job role group. Direct care showed the largest reduction (down 11 per cent) whilst jobs in regulated professions increased by one per cent compared to 2014.
  • The total number of council-employed adult social services jobs has decreased consistently since 2011, with reductions of around 10,000 jobs observed in each year.  The total decrease since 2011 (when the total number of jobs was 159,400) was 25 per cent or 39,200 jobs.  The scale of reduction in job numbers between 2011 and 2015 has varied by job role group.  Direct care showed the largest reduction (down 32 per cent) whilst jobs in regulated professions reduced by three per cent compared to 2011.
  • For around two-thirds of councils (101 out of 152) the number of council-employed adult social services jobs reduced between 2014 and 2015. Of these councils, 36 saw a small reduction (five per cent or less) and 65 saw a larger reduction or more than five per cent.  These 65 councils were required to provide reasons for change and in addition, 10 further councils (with a change of less than five per cent) also provided reasons.  The top three most commonly cited reasons for these 75 councils (multiple reasons can be provided by each council) were;
    • Restructures - 50 councils gave this as a contributing factor for their associated reduction of 8,500 jobs
    • Outsourcing - 21 councils / 5,900 jobs
    • Closures - 20 councils / 2,600 jobs
  • Despite the overall number of council-employed adult social services jobs decreasing, 49 councils increased their number of council-employed adult social services jobs over the period (22 by five per cent or less and 27 by more than five per cent).
  • The majority of councils (115) have between 201 and 1100 jobs.  Six councils however have 100 or fewer adult social services staff, whilst two councils have between 3,501 and 3,700 confirmed jobs within their adult social services department.  This variation is indicative of differing service delivery models, although all regions do have the largest proportion of jobs in the direct care job role group.  When compared to other regions however, London has the lowest percentage of jobs in this group (36 per cent), whilst also having the highest percentage of jobs in the regulated professions group (25 per cent).
  • An estimated 82 per cent of the 120,200 council-employed adult social services jobs in 2015 were carried out by female workers and 18 per cent by male workers. These estimates have remained unchanged since 2011.  The estimated proportion of jobs carried out by female workers was highest (85 per cent) in direct care providing roles while the proportion of jobs carried out by male workers was highest (23 per cent) in managerial roles. The proportion of jobs carried out by male workers was higher still in senior management roles (41 per cent).
  • The estimated average age of workers in council-employed adult social services jobs in 2015 was 47 years old. This is unchanged since 2011.  In 2015 almost a half of all jobs (47 per cent) were filled by workers aged 40 to 54 as well as over a quarter (29 per cent) by workers aged 55 or over.
  • The majority (an estimated 86 per cent) of the 120,200 council-employed adult social services jobs in 2015 were carried out by White workers, with an estimated 14 per cent carried out by workers from Black and Minority Ethnic groups.  This varies by region however, with BME groups accounting for an estimated 46 per cent of the workforce in London and less than 5 per cent in the North East (two per cent) and South West (four per cent).  Ethnicity distribution also differs by job role group.  Although these overall estimates have remained unchanged between 2014 and 2015, the estimates for the percentage of BME workers in all job role groups have generally seen increases since 2011.

Coverage

Date Range: 01 October 2014 to 30 September 2015
Geographical coverage: England
Geographical granularity: Councils with Social Services Responsibilities

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