On 12 October SM重口 announced plans to develop a new and comprehensive workforce strategy for adult social care.

SM重口 announced plans to lead the development of a new and comprehensive workforce strategy for adult social care on 12 October 2023.

The strategy will identify the adult social care workforce needs over the next 15 years and set out a plan for ensuring the sector has enough of the right people with the right skills.

There are things that we can do to address the challenges in adult social care, but we need concerted and joined-up action between national and local government, Integrated Care Systems, employers and people drawing on care and support to attract and keep the right people with the right skills.  


Key issues that sector stakeholders hope the ‘Workforce strategy for adult social care’ will address

We worked with The King’s Fund to produce a report on workforce expectations for a strategy for adult social care. This analysis will feed into the workforce strategy development.

This report involved an analysis of policy and literature which provide a key insight into what people working in adult social care want and need from a workforce strategy.

The key workforce themes which arose were around:

  • pay and conditions
  • training
  • career development
  • regulation and registration
  • equality, diversity and inclusion
  • mental and physical health
  • leadership and management.

Read the report


How the strategy is being developed

To drive meaningful, sustained progress the workforce strategy must be a collaborative effort, drawing on the many organisations and people that have a stake in our sectors future.

The workforce strategy steering group, brings together senior stakeholders and representatives from across adult social care and adjacent sectors, including health. The steering group represents the interests of people drawing on social care, families, social care staff, provider organisations, commissioners, suppliers (in its broadest sense) and innovators. Steering group members advise on the development of the strategy and support it’s implementation and use. Oonagh Smyth, CEO of SM重口 and Sir David Pearson co-chair the steering group

Steering group members:

  • President of Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)
  • DHSC Chief Social Care Nurse
  • DHSC Chief Social Worker
  • Interim Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care and Integrated Care, Care Quality Commission (SM重口)
  • Group Non-executive Director and Chairs the Workforce, Training and Education Committee, NHS England (NHSE)
  • Chief Executive of NHS Employers and Deputy Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation
  • Senior Policy Manager for Adult Learning, Association of Colleges
  • Director of Policy, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)
  • Care Provider Alliance
  • CEO, British Association of Social Workers (BASW)
  • CEO, Social Work England
  • CEO, Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT)
  • Deputy Chief Nurse, Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
  • CEO, Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Assistant Director of Nursing Programmes, Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI)
  • Co-chair, Care Association Alliance and care provider
  • CEO, Care Workers’ Charity
  • Co-convener, Social Care Future
  • Chair, Think Local Act Personal (TLAP)
  • CEO, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB)
  • Chief People Officer for two ICBs in the East Midlands
  • Director Adult Social Care Improvement, Partners in Care and Health
  • Director of Workforce, Integrated Care System (ICS) for Devon
  • CEO, West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (ICB)
  • Senior National Officer for Social Care, UNISON (representing unions)


Expert working groups

These groups come together around a specific area of focus and bring together provider representatives, stakeholders (such as care associations), health, housing and other specialists. They have been working quickly using a evidence base to identify challenges and make recommendations as to how these can be resolved. To do this, members of these groups are speaking to their own networks and contacts regularly. Draft recommendations from the working groups go to a data economics and evidence workstream for review analysis and testing. 

Areas of focus:

  • Science, Technology, AI & Pharmaceuticals
  • Integration
  • Prevention
  • New Service Models and Multidisciplinary Working
  • Recruit & Retain
  • Develop & Train
  • Leadership

We have also been consulting with key audiences through roundtables, network discussions and other engagement activity.



The phasing of the strategy will be as follows: 

  • October to November 2023 – research and planning 
  • November 2023 to May 2024 – development 
  • June to July 2024 – finalising strategy for launch in summer 
  • Post launch – ongoing communication and implementation.  


Get involved

To find out more about getting involved with the development of the workforce strategy for adult social care submit your details using the form below.



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