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Adult social care markets

There have been long-standing issues across the adult social care market, which COVID-19 has further impacted. These include increasing signs of market-stress, data limitations, and high staff vacancy rates and turnover levels. At the same time, there is an increasing demand for care due to an ageing and growing population with more complex needs, and repeated calls for urgent system reform.

The Department of Health and Social Care is responsible for health and adult social care policy in England while local authorities commission social care and some also provide care services. This report will examine:

  • how adult social care is currently provided and structured;
  • the Department’s effectiveness in overseeing the market and holding providers to account; and
  • the Department’s understanding of future demand, costs and alternative delivery models.

The report will also assess the impact of COVID-19 on the market and the sector’s financial sustainability. Across adult social care, our COVID-19 work has considered preparedness for the pandemic (here), with a report on supplying PPE to be published in autumn soon.

If you would like to provide evidence for our study please email the study team on enquiries@nao.org.uk, putting the study title in the subject line. The team will consider the evidence you provide; however, please note that due to the volume of information we receive we may not respond to you directly.

More information about our work to report on government’s response to the COVID-19 can be found here