The Economic Value of the Adult Social Care Sector – media statement

The adult social care sector contributes £3.4 billion to the Scottish economy, a new report into the economic impact of the sector has found. The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) published the report today, at the same time as the UK, England, Northern Ireland and Wales published similar reports.

Scottish Care welcomes the release of data published by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), and to which Scottish Care contributed, which provides the evidence for what we have often said; that the adult social care sector can be valued not only by the high quality care and support offered to our most vulnerable citizens, but also by its economic contribution to society. A report has been issued for each of the UK nations, as well as for the UK as a whole, thus offering opportunity to benchmark across the sector.

According to the report, the adult social care sector employs 148,000 people in Scotland, which is 6% of the total workforce, making it comparable in size to the entire NHS, and with the largest employer being the independent sector. In addition, when an individual is offered regular care and support, the sector enables unpaid carers to remain in employment, and supports a further 29,400 jobs relating to the purchase of services or goods made by the sector.

At £2.2 Billion, the Gross Value Added (GVA) which is the value of the goods and services that a sector produces, is higher than Agriculture, forestry and fishing, Arts, entertainment and recreation, and Water supply; sewerage and waste management. It is the 5th largest contributor. The GVA increases to £3.4 Billion when taking into account the indirect effect of the sector. The report also mentions the additional benefits the sector offers by reducing hospital admissions and delayed discharge. This has impact both on lifestyle and the economy.

The report also considers the nationality of employees, stating that 4.4% of workers are from other EU countries. This highlights that the impact of Brexit could be a real concern in a sector which as evidenced in in the 4 R’s, a recent Scottish Care report, already experiences significant challenge in recruitment and retention.

Scotland leads the other nations in the UK with higher productivity in the workforce, and higher average earnings. The estimated GVA per capita is also highest in Scotland.

As our population is living longer, it is expected that by 2039, the number of people over 65 will increase by 44%, leading to an increased demand for adult social care. It is hoped that this report reinforces the importance of the adult social care sector in Scotland and highlights the need to value the sector going forward to enable the delivery of high quality adult social care based in a human rights approach offering choice and control to those who access it.

The Economic Value of the Adult Social Care Sector – Scotland report is available here: http://www.sssc.uk.com/about-the-sssc/multimedia-library/publications/209-research/the-economic-value-of-the-adult-social-care-sector-scotland

The Economic Value of the Adult Social Care Sector – UK report is available here: http://www.sssc.uk.com/about-the-sssc/multimedia-library/publications/209-research/the-economic-value-of-the-adult-social-care-sector-uk

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