We all know that the health and social care sectors in the UK contribute hugely to the economy, but where are the statistics that back this up? 

We zone in on the adult social care sector and the NHS to provide you with some key statistics that will arm you for any future debates about the the importance of your business  in context of the UK economy.

The economic value of the adult social care sector.

Contributing £46.2 billion to the UK economy, this sector represents 6% of total employment according to Skills for Care. The latest report commissioned by Skills for Care and Development shares insights into the impact adult social care has on the economy, with the research estimating there to have been 1.8 million jobs in this sector in 2016. The report also found:

  • Most of the adult social care workforce providing regulated services were employed at sites run by private sector providers
  • The adult social care sector GVA (Gross Value Added) was £23.6 billion previously, with the majority stemming from domiciliary care
  • GVA generated per FTE (productivity) was £19,200

Overall, the purchases made by those employed in this sector was thought to have contributed £11.1 billion of GVA to the economy and a further 251,300 jobs. The former Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, Sir Andrew Dilnot, said on the report “I very much welcome the fact that this report covers the whole of the UK and hope it will help national policymakers recognise that a sector with 1.8 million job roles has not just a vital social value, but a growing economic one too.”

How does the NHS compare in terms of productivity?

According to a recent report published by the Social Market Foundation (SMF), productivity rates have slowed in the previous two years and are now below trend, but that’s not to say that the level of care has been affected.

The same report suggests that:

  •  The pharmaceuticals sector alone delivers £1 in every £5 of R&D in the UK
  • The size of the NHS as a share of the economy has increased by two and
    a half times in the last sixty years.
  • If the NHS continued to run at the historic annual growth rate of 0.8%, the Government would have to find an additional £6.5bn by 2025.

Why should we care about productivity?

Productivity is our ability to achieve more for less and efficiency is paramount. SMF state that the UK’s productivity per hour is significantly lower compared to other countries. With an ageing population, a rise in co-morbidities and growing service user expectations, it is time to start looking at what each organisation within health and social care can do to increase their output when resources are scarce, including staffing.

Getting the right staff.

With workforce making up approximately two thirds of the operating costs for NHS providers and a significant portion of costs for social care organisations, recruitment and retention should be a key focus for leaders within this sector. Earlier this year, we published this article which included Deloitte’s recommendations for addressing the workforce challenges. It would appear that these tips are still relevant today and with it being so important to get your team right, we ensure that any candidates we put forward for your team are fully vetted and have the right skills to make the right impact.