Cost of Living Support

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 24,500 are in direct care roles, and 2,400 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 9,300
Registered Nurse roles 500
Domiciliary Direct Care roles 10,500

89% of all job roles are permanent, with 57% being full time and 43% part time.

Source: Skills for Care's weighted workforce estimates, 2021/22

At this current moment in time (January 2022) the market continues to face recruitment and retention difficulties. This is having a direct impact on ECC's ability to source capacity, and therefore impacts directly on residents.

A lot of work has been initiated regionally and within ECC to address recruitment and retention in the social care workforce. But a number of factors, such as competition from other sectors, are adding to the pressure.

Essex Market Employees Jobs
All Jobs 30,000 33,000
Direct Care 22,500 25,000
Manager 2,600 2,700
Professionals 1,100 1,300
Non-care jobs 4,300 4,600
Care Types Employees Jobs
CQC Residential 9,000 9,700
CQC Nursing 4,800 5,300
CQC Non-Residential 12,500 14,000

The information shown in the table(s) above is correct as of 1. October 2022

Source: Skills for Care's weighted workforce estimates, 2021/22

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

Our current area of focus is:

  • Each category specified above has an action plan of deliverables to make improvements to the workforce. This is a collaborative piece of work with ADASS and ECA.
  • Utilise the COVID Market Fund to initiate some training to upskill the workforce to support in areas where we are struggling to supply services, i.e. nursing care, dementia and complex needs.
  • Develop a Centre of Excellence to raise the profile of care in the county
  • Enhance our social media and digital marketing campaign with new videos to promote the variety of roles on offer in the sector.
  • Using in-house ECC recruitment and marketing teams to support providers with their recruitment needs.
Last updated: 27/05/2022