Essex County Council - Provider Hub
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Market Context

Essex has approximately 39,000 total filled jobs in adult social care, working across the sector. Approximately 32,000 of these jobs are in the independent sector, of which 25,000 are in direct care roles, and 2,700 in managerial roles. The below table shows the number of employee by service in the independent sector in Essex

Service No. Employee
All Residential Direct Care roles 10,000 (3,300 working in nursing homes, 7,000 in care homes without nursing)
Registered Nurse roles 650
Domiciliary Direct Care roles 12,000

90% of all job roles are permanent, with 58% being full time and 42% part time.

There are 789 CQC registered establishments in Essex and approximately 1,500 direct payment recipients employing their own staff.

Source: Skills for Care's weighted workforce estimates, 2022/23

At this current moment in time (October 2023) the market continues to face recruitment and retention challenges. This is having a direct impact on ECC's ability to source capacity in some areas, and therefore impacts directly on residents in those areas.

A lot of work has been initiated regionally and within ECC to address recruitment and retention in the social care workforce.

The latest data showing that Essex position against our Regional Local Authorities.

Vacancy and Turnover Rate across Eastern Region 2022/23

Age Demographics across Eastern Region 2022/23

Permanent and Temporary Employment Status across Eastern Region 2022/23

Local Authority Permanent Contract  Temporary Contract Indirectly Employed
Bedford 90% 1% 9%
Cambridgeshire 94% 1% 6%
Central Bedfordshire 88% 2% 10%
Essex 90% 1% 9%
Hertfordshire 87% 4% 9%
Luton 86% 5% 10%
Norfolk 91% 3% 7%
Peterborough 91% 2% 8%
Southend on Sea 81% 7% 12%
Suffolk 90% 1% 9%
Thurrock 75% 7% 18%
National Average 88% 2% -

Source: Skills for Care weighted workforce estimates 2022/23

Essex Market Total Posts Employees Filled Posts
Overall (All Jobs) 37,000 30,000 33,000
Direct Care 28,000 22,500 25,000
Managers 2,900 2,600 2,700
Professional 1,500 1,100 1,300
Non-Care Jobs (other) 4,800 4,300 4,600
Care Types Total Posts Employees Filled Posts
CQC Residential 10,500 9,100 9,800
CQC Nursing 5,900 5,000 5,400
CQC Non-Residential 16,000 12,500 14,000

The information shown in the table(s) above is correct as of October 2023.

Source: Skills for Care's weighted workforce estimates, 2022/23

Our ambition is to have the following in place in the Essex care market:

  • A good supply of skilled carers that supports the capacity and demand of our residents across Essex.
  • Providers with robust recruitment, retention and career plans that support fluxes in demand without applying pressure to the additional carer workforce.
  • Improved data and insight into the workforce and the use of technology simplifying process and practice within each market.
  • A strong training and development pathway for carers that changes the perception of our social care workforce.

The current COVID impact highlighted is:

  • Our workforce was impacted differently at different stages of COVID. Wave 1 caused a massive pressure on our residential workforce and it was hard to provide additional capacity due to risk of infection/contamination.
  • In Wave 2 our domiciliary workforce was impacted with large infection rates across some markets particularly in our domiciliary and intermediate care workforce which placed pressure on hospitals and our adults requiring care.
  • Adults did not want to go into residential homes which also applied pressure on our domiciliary workforce, particularly when families needed to start working again and were unable to provide the same level of care in Wave 1.


Current market risks:

  • Increase in salaries in other sectors. Hourly rates in the hospitality and leisure market will impact our existing workforce and potential to recruit.
  • Regional OLA's increasing their rates to encourage additional capacity in their area.
  • The ability to have real time oversight on the social care workforce.
  • Cost of Real Living Wage to ECC if implemented
  • Effect of cost of living increases on providers and the workforce

Our current areas of focus are:

  • Developing a Centre of Excellence to raise the profile of care in the county, offer training and upskilling opportunities and showcase digital and tech available.
  • The ‘Your Career Matters’ campaign launched December 2022 to promote care as a career. Adverts are displayed across social media and digital marketing, sending individuals to Working for Essex. The campaign attracts thousands of clicks each week and other options to expand the campaign (including radio) are being looked into.
  • Development of a recruitment toolkit for providers to use as part of their recruitment campaigns. We will add to this as we commission more creatives.
  • Using in-house ECC recruitment and marketing teams to support providers with their recruitment needs. The team are promoting care provider vacancies on Working for Essex where the ‘Your Career Matters’ campaign directs to.
  • The recruitment team will also offer reimbursements for the Blue Light Card reward for new and existing care staff
  • Working with regional colleagues (ADASS) on workforce issues as a region, including support for international recruitment. This includes working with the region’s care associations, providers, Health and partners.
  • Nightingale programme being launched to provider training & qualifications to new and existing care staff. The programme also includes an ambassador programme which will use care professionals to promote careers in care to school and college students.
  • Development of a new workforce strategy for the market.
  • Continuing to offer a wellbeing service to care staff. Currently this is through the Here for You service.
Last updated: 30/09/2023