Care chiefs have criticised a report from the Office for National Statistics claiming productivity in adult social care services has declined over the past decade as 'simplistic'.
Anne Williams, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, claimed Public services productivity: adult social care failed to address the challenges faced by care service providers in recent years.
"The report doesn't seem to have taken into account that we are living in a time when much higher standards are expected by people with much higher needs," she said.
"There is the minimum wage, a reduced working week and higher insurance costs. It all adds up and canÕt be taken simply as a loss in productivity."
The report finds productivity in publicly-funded adult social care services decreased by an average of 2.1% a year from 1996 to 2005.
But it admits there is "no method for recording changes in the average level of need of clients, or changes in the average quality of the care supplied".
Allan Bowman, chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, said: "While all statistical information benefits the sector's development, the evaluation on which we should really focus our attention revolves around outcomes for service users rather than service outputs.
"This report acknowledges it doesn't measure quality or complexity in services. Measuring the impact a service has on a person's life is the only way to find out if adult social care is achieving its aims of service improvement."