The adult social care market in Essex is facing significant challenge due to a number of reasons, these include:
An ageing population and more people with long term conditions
21% of our population are currently over 65, which will increases to 27% by 2035. Population of people aged 85+ will increase by another 16% in the next 15 years, and we know that these group of people will require more complex care.
Demand for adult social care is growing each year
Demand from people with learning disabilities & autism is expected to grow by 8% by 2025 and people with some sensory impairments are set to grow from 240,000 (2020) to 310,000 (2030)
The Workforce pressures
Recruitment and retention of all care staff is difficult and will get increasingly more difficult. Vacancy rates in Essex Adult Social Care for 2020/21 was 8.5% across all sectors, and this showed a turnover rate of 25.9%. The biggest vacancy rate is within the home care sector at nearly 15%, but workers in the nursing care homes leaving the sector was a staggering 30%.
Higher than average spend on Learning Disabilities & Autism
There are an estimated 31,466 adult residents in Essex with a learning disability and autism. In the past, we have been spending more on each person compared to other local authorities in this group.
The gap between deprived and less deprived areas of the county is getting bigger
The proportion of Essex people living in the 20% most deprived areas of the county increased from 6% in 2010 to 8.6% in 2019.
Uncertainty in funding
Nationally the funding for adult social care has been a key agenda for the government during 2020/21, and the announcement of the new Health and Social Care Levy still raises uncertainty on the changes and on the exact amount of funding for the care sector.
Economic Impacts of COVID 19
There are also the obvious impact of COVID-19 that has had a damaging impact on social care services since early 2020. These challenges weren’t just impacting on health, but also on our economy. The economic impacts of COVID-19 are likely to result in unemployment rising to the highest in areas of greater deprivation.