Gap widens between demand and supply of nurses

New social care workforce data reveals a widening gap between the supply of, and demand for nurses working in social care.

Skills for Care’s annual ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, 2019’ report finds that the number of jobs in care homes with nursing services increased between 2009 and 2018 up 26 per cent, (or 60,000 jobs). However, registered nurses were one of the only jobs in adult social care to see a significant decrease over the period (down 10,400, or 20 per cent, since 2012/13).

Skills for Care estimates that 7.8 per cent of roles in adult social care were vacant, equivalent to 122,000 vacancies at any one time. Further pressure on the workforce may be suggested by the fact that around 115,000 roles (8 per cent of all jobs) are held by people with an EU nationality.

Other key findings in the report are that since 2009, the workforce has continued to shift away from local authority jobs (down 37 per cent or 65,000 jobs) towards independent sector jobs (up 30 per cent, or 290,000 jobs).

Staff turnover rate of directly employed staff working in the adult social care sector is reported as 30.8 per cent in 2018/19. This equates to approximately 440,000 people leaving their jobs over the course of the year.

The report uses data from the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set supplied by thousands of care sector employers. 

It is estimated that there are 18,500 organisations involved in providing or organising adult social care in England, in an estimated 39,000 establishments. The contribution of adult social care to the economy is estimated at £40.5 billion.

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