Staffing levels in council adult social care departments fell by nearly a third in five years, research has found.
Figures published by NHS Digital today show that in September last year there were 112,800 local authority adult social care jobs in England which is a fall of 46,600 (29%) since 2011.
Staffing levels in the independent sector increased by 160,000 jobs during the same period.
The report said the reasons councils most frequently cited for the decrease were service closures, restructuring, and budget cuts.
The number of posts in direct care, the largest staffing group, fell by 49% to 50,800, while management roles decreased from 22,700 to 17,200.
Staff directly employed by councils represent 8% of the total social care workforce, with 78% working in the independent sector, 6% in the NHS and 9% as a result of people receiving direct payments.
In 2016 the starter rate, which equates to the number of new staff employed in social care as a percentage of overall number of council employees, was 13%. This compares to a turnover rate of 19%.
Responding to the findings Margaret Willcox, president elect of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said councils were projecting a combined adult social care overspend of £441m in 2016-17.
She added: “Despite these huge pressures, councils have sought to protect frontline social workers while seeking efficiency in management and outsourcing direct care provision.
“This significant fall in staff numbers is unsurprising and is due to the social care funding crisis which is failing to tackle the growing demand within local communities for care of people living longer and with increasingly complex needs.”