Hft | Sector Pulse Check | Research

The 2023 Sector Pulse Check survey is now closed and we are analysing the responses.

Hft, the learning disability charity, and Care England, the largest and most diverse representative body for independent providers of adult social care in England, are continuing their partnership to deliver the annual Sector Pulse Check report.

Now in its 8th year, the Sector Pulse Check provides an annual snapshot of the workforce and financial health of the adult social care sector, helping to monitor trends and provide vital data illustrating the nature and scale of ongoing challenges to Government.

This year, Hft and Care England are maintaining the focus on the workforce and financial pressures facing adult social care providers, as well as exploring new, topical issues. The Sector Pulse Check is our opportunity to present data to the Government on a large scale – amid a challenging economic and political landscape, we need your support more than ever to ensure it has the desired impact on Government and other key stakeholders.

If you have any questions regarding the completion of the survey or wider report, please get in contact Victoria Hemmingway, Head of Public Affairs and Policy at Hft (victoria.hemmingway@hft.org.uk).

The 2023 survey is now closed. We hope to have the final results ready for publication in January 2024.

2022 Sector Pulse Check

The findings in the 2022 Sector Pulse Check report illustrate how the adult social care sector is on a precipice. Download the full report below.

Read the 2022 Executive Summary here

In the face of growing demand for support, this leaves some of the most vulnerable in society at risk of not being able to access the care and support they need, and has a knock-on impact for wider society, families, communities and the NHS. 

The sector has been brought to its knees by the following cost pressures:

Financial pressures were compounded by workforce challenges:

Despite workforce cost pressures being a key concern, low wages relative to other sectors, aligned with a perception of better opportunities elsewhere, were identified as key drivers of recruitment and retention challenges illustrated in the report:

While the report illustrates many challenges, we are filled with hope for a better future – we have a sector brimming with talent, ambition and enthusiasm. The report sets out recommendations that represent realistic, easily implementable policies and we look forward to working with government to make these a reality so our sector can thrive, not just survive.  

They include:

  • Establishing a minimum care wage, above the level of the NLW and tied to NHS band three. 
  • Aligning benefits, terms and conditions for care staff with those in the NHS, including on pensions, statutory sick pay, holiday entitlements and access to training courses. 
  • Establishing formal accountability for workforce pay with the Local Authority/Integrated Care System 
  • Providing continued financial support for energy costs for care providers 

Read the 2022 report here

Read the 2022 Easy Read report here

Read the 2021 report here


Sector Pulse Check for year 2022

The impact of the changes to the social care sector in 2022 (published March 2023)

Sector Pulse Check for year 2021

The impact of the changes to the social care sector in 2021 (published April 2022)

Sector Pulse Check for year 2020

The impact of the changes to the social care sector in 2020 (published March 2021)

Sector Pulse Check for year 2019

The impact of the changes to the social care sector in 2019

Sector Pulse Check for year 2018

The impact of the changes to the social care sector in 2018

Sector Pulse Check for year 2017

The impact of the changes to the social care sector in 2017