Last reviewed 12 October 2021

A report, commissioned by Skills for Care to demonstrate the full economic value of the adult social care sector in England, has revealed figures for the amount of additional funding needed to overhaul a “low cost, low value, low outcome” approach and realise its full potential.

The report, by economic consultants KDNA, estimated that adult social care in England had a minimum total economic value in 2020–21 of £50.3 billion, made up of £25.6 billion of Gross Value Added (GVA) and a further £12.6 billion of indirect and £12.1 billion induced effects.

Skills for Care’s vision is a fair and just society, where people can access the advice, care and support they need to live their life to the fullest potential. The study it commissioned estimated that £3.8 billion would be needed to improve quality and £2.3 billion for better access, boosting the volume of care funded by local authorities by 15%, in order to tackle market failures that result in unmet need, high vacancies and inadequate social care.

In order to provide higher wages to more staff to help improve the quality of care, a 25% increase in council fees to providers would be needed.

The report analysed the wider societal value and monetised some of these benefits, including improved wellbeing of carers and employment opportunities for carers, which is calculated up to £1.3 billion and around £5.6 billion for working age adults.

The report also suggested that the best way to make adult social care sustainable in the long term is to “move away from payment for adult social care processes to payment based on better outcomes for people who draw on care and support services”.

Skills for Care’s report is available here.